February 3, 2021
THIS ONE'S FOR EVERYONE
Monday kicked off Black History Month in America and Canada. And following a year of racial justice protests, brands celebrating need to get it right.
And that starts by understanding what it's all about, why it's important, what resources are available to Black business leaders, and common mistakes that white-owned brands make.
Black History Month celebrates Black American's contributions to society and raises awareness of Black history.
It was first celebrated in 1926 when historian Carter G. Woodson grew frustrated with the underrepresentation of Black accomplishments in American history. But at the time, it was just a week-long celebration that happened the second week of February.
Exactly 50 years later, the week-long event officially became Black History Month, under President Ford. And it has been observed in the US and Canada every February since. And more recently, in Ireland, the Netherlands, and the UK as well.
But this year, leading DEI organizations (like Collective) are challenging us to swap Black History Month for Black Heritage Month. And in the process, go beyond celebrating the past - and recognize that the impact Black people make on society is ongoing.
And we're up for the challenge! So, from now on, we'll be referring to February as Black Heritage Month (or BHM for short).
Today, over 2.6M US businesses are Black-owned. A more than 117% increase from the 1.2M Black-owned businesses in 2002.
But compared to their white counterparts, Black people are still underrepresented in entrepreneurship. For example, Black people represent 12.8% of the US population, but only 9.4% of all US business owners.
Black business owners also tend to see lower revenue, less access to funding, and fewer employees.
Meaning, the challenges that come with entrepreneurship - like scaling - are exponentially compounded by racial and institutional barriers. Making it more difficult for a Black entrepreneur to succeed in business.
Simply put, our communities and economies can’t thrive unless everyone within it is thriving. So, when Black entrepreneurs and business leaders are left out of the narratives, can’t secure funding, or lack access to opportunities, we all pay the cost.
AND THE WINNER IS...
Congratulations, Carolann Whitesell from LUHV Food, for winning our Clubhouse invite! (We'll connect offline later today to get you into the app.)
And thanks to everyone for letting us know what you'd like to see in upcoming newsletters! Your answers make sure we only roundup the best, most relevant resources. (Have more ideas? Drop us a line - we'd love to hear them!)
P.S. Already on Clubhouse? Join the Trainual team this Friday at 5 pm EST to share your "scale or fail" stories. AKA the fumbles from trying to do it all and the wins you had when you grew your team.