Diversity Panel Discusses Black Entrepreneurship and Why Inclusion Matters

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Join The Business Journal at noon July 27 for a free live discussion, “Diversity Panel: Why Inclusion Matters for the Valley’s Business.” 

The panel can be watched on our Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube pages.

We’ll meet with two local, Black business owners – Ra’Cole Taltoan of Rockbrook Business Services and Eartha Hopkins of The Literary House – to discuss their journeys as entrepreneurs, what they see happening in the community of Black-owned businesses, what challenges still face entrepreneurs of color and why companies need to examine what they’re doing to support a business community that’s historically been underserved.

During the roundtable, we’ll also discuss Youngstown Publishing Co.’s new diversity, equity and inclusion platform and what we’re doing to support our region’s minority-owned businesses, including the upcoming launch of a free directory.

Even as the events of 2020 put a fresh spotlight on minority-owned businesses and many Americans went out of their way to patronize them, there are still significant challenges that come with being an entrepreneur of color. 

A report by the Federal Reserve shows that just 66.4% of minority-owned businesses get at least part of their funding from banks, compared to 80.2% of their White counterparts. When minority-owned companies do get funding, the amounts are, on average, about $30,000 less than comparable White-owned businesses with interest rates about 1.4% higher.

For startups, the line between success and failure is thinner. Only 1% Black-owned businesses get business loans in their first year, compared to 7% of White-owned businesses. Black business owners also turn to financing from family members more often, with 14% of owners reporting getting family loans, compared to 9% of White business owners.

As you’ll read in our August issue, supporting minority-owned businesses is vital for a healthy, flourishing business community. Join us at noon July 27 on our Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube pages for our discussion on what Black business owners face and what can be done to support the community of entrepreneurs of color.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.