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New Survey Shows How Black Women Entrepreneurs Overcome The Financing Gap


By Girl Power News , in News , at April 25, 2023

Ariel Chairman John W. Rogers, Jr. to Discuss Private Equity and its Impact on Growing Black Businesses at the 2nd Bow Collective Conference – “Bloom Where You Are Planted” in Charleston, SC Jan 30Feb. 1

Black women entrepreneurs are finding surprising and encouraging ways to leap across the funding gap that can hold back Black-owned businesses, according to a new survey by The BOW Collective.

Most business owners in the survey reported gross annual sales of over $250,000, which dwarfs the average revenue of non-minority women ($218,000) and minority women ($67,800), according to the 2021 Annual Business Survey commissioned by the U.S. Census Bureau.

But they didn’t start at the top. They had to launch without the access to capital available to other business owners in America.

Only 0.03% received third-party financing at startup. In fact, 95% of these Black women entrepreneurs used personal finances to launch their businesses. That risky route can result in high debt-to-income ratios that disqualify many for traditional business loans.

Their challenges aren’t isolated. Financing shortfalls are most common among Black-owned firms and least common among white-owned firms, reports the U.S. Federal Reserve Banks in their “Small Business Credit Survey: 2021 Report on Firms Owned by People of Color.”

Even after getting started, nearly all respondents were unable to leverage marketing and advertising to grow. A mere 13% of surveyed business owners used access to capital as a means for growth. Most relied on client referrals and networking relationships to grow their businesses.

The BOW Collective includes more than 100 members, who together project $450 million in gross annual sales in 2023 across 25 industries ranging from government contracting to the performing arts. In 2022, members created more than 1,500 jobs.

The BOW Collective’s members will share success stories, growth strategies and a spirit of togetherness at Bloom Where You Are Planted, the collective’s second annual conference and awards gala, Jan. 30-Feb. 1, in Charleston, SC. Tickets for the conference are sold out.

Speakers will include John W. Rogers, Jr., Chairman, Co-CEO & Chief Investment Officer, Ariel Investments. In a fireside chat with Cober, Rogers will offer insights into the roles private equity can play in the growing life of a business and discuss what business owners need to know and do before starting conversations about capital.

The talk will be one of many learning and networking opportunities across the conference’s three days, and Cober is eager to open the event.

“I understand the plight of women entrepreneurs because I lived it,” she said. “Creating a community for women in business has been a dream of mine for years, and it is finally becoming a reality. For me, this is personal.”


Years in Business


Gen Z = 0.009

10+ = 41%

Graduate/Prof. 24%

Gen Y = 38 (33%)

5-10 = 27 (26%)

Masters = 46%

Gen X = 53 (46%)

3-5 = 16 (15%)

Bachelor’s = 26%

Baby Boomers = 22 (19%)

0-3  = 18 (17%)

Associate’s = 0.02%

H.S. Diploma = 0.02%


Business Location


Training/Consulting = 45%

Mid-Atlantic = 36%

1-5 = 35%

Government Contracts 16%

Northeast = 36%

10+ = 32%

Retail/Mfg. = 14%

South = 11%

Solopreneur = 17%

IT Consulting = 14%

Southeast = 0.08%

6-10 = 15%

Education = 0.05%

Southwest = 0.06%

Program/Proj. Mgmt. = 0.05%

Midwest = 0.009%

Growth Influencers

Gross Sales

How Was Your Business Financed?

Client Referrals = 36%

$0-$250K = 43%

Self-Financed = 93%

Networking = 28%

$250K-$1M = 20%

Line of Credit = 0.03%

Access to Capital = 13%

$1M – $5M = 24%

Family Loans = 0.03%

Certifications = 0.07%

$5M – $20M = 10%

Retirement Account = 0.01%

Mktg. & Advertising = 0.06%

$20M+ = 0.008%

None = 52%


Goldman Sachs 10,000

Small Businesses = 23%

Walker’s Legacy 0.03%

SBA Emerging Leaders = 11%

Veteran’s Institute for Procurement 0.01%

WBNEC Women of Color = 0.07%

Robin Beaman
[email protected]