At Hello Seven, our mission is to help women—especially women of color—to make more money and build wealth.
In honor of Black History Month, we’re bringing you a closer look at Black women, business, and money. Facts only. By the numbers.
The good news
- Black women are courageously starting their own businesses faster than any other minority community. We want to be the boss and claim our power.
- Over the last 14 years, the number of US companies founded by Black women has grown by 164%.
- Out of all the women-founded businesses in the US, 21% are run by Black women. That’s over 2.6 million Black-owned, female-run businesses—and climbing.
- We’re launching businesses in record-breaking numbers—despite the fact that Black women are much less likely to receive funding from investors* or a loan from the bank. No loan? No problem. We roll up our sleeves, get creative, and find another way to make it happen.
*Every year, investors give out billions of dollars to startups. Curious how much of that money goes to Black women? Less than 1%. It’s .0006% to be exact. For a whole variety of (very stupid) reasons, most investors are reluctant to invest in Black-owned businesses. Their loss.
- Are Black female entrepreneurs emotionally fulfilled by their work? Short answer: Yes. 70% say they are either “somewhat happy” or “very happy” that they decided to start a business.
- Florida, California, and New York are the US States with the highest numbers of Black-owned businesses. Over 10,000 in each state. (Shout-out to Queens NYC, my hometown!)
The bad news
- While Black women are boldly launching businesses at a rapid pace, we’re not raking in those coins. Financially, we are lagging way behind.
- In the US, the average small business owner earns around $47,000 to $70,000 per year, depending on which survey you look at.
- However, the average Black female small business owner earns just $24,000 per year. Ouch.
- Sis, if you’re climbing the corporate ladder, the situation is not much cheerier. For every 100 white men who get promoted to a higher-paying management position, only 58 Black women get promoted.
- Out of the 500 CEOs on the Fortune 500 list, only 37 are women. Zero are Black women.
- On average, across all industries and professions, Black women get paid 63% of what white men earn. If you get paid by the hour, this means if Jake or Connor or Bradley works for 12 hours, as a Black woman, you would need to work 19 hours to earn the same amount. It’s exhausting just thinking about it.
Is this situation grim? Yes. Hopeless? No.
The future is shaped by the decisions we make today. So, let’s make million-dollar decisions. Decisions that bring power into our lives and money into our bank accounts.
Here’s what to do now:
If you’re a white woman, and you genuinely want to be an ally and help out, here’s what you can do.
It’s actually very simple: hire Black women and pay them well.
Pay for their expertise. Pay for the tremendous value they bring to the table. Dedicate (at least) 30% of your budget to Black-owned businesses. You’re buying gifts for your clients, or shipping boxes to customers? Purchase from Black vendors. Pay us. Period.
Unlock opportunities for Black women. Nominate your Black colleague for an award. Introduce her to a talent booker, so she can get a lucrative speaking gig. Pass her info along to a journalist, so she can get some well-deserved press. Use your privileged position to open doors that have been unfairly closed.
White ladies, please know that Black women don’t need your hand-wringing Instagram posts (“thoughts and prayers during this tragic time”), but we would definitely love for you to purchase our products and services. Send dollars, not DMs.
If you’re a Black woman, get more demanding.
Negotiate for more. Double (yes, I said double) your prices. Set boundaries with clients and uphold them. Stop settling for poor treatment, piddly earnings, and unacceptable behavior at work and at home.
For instance, if you notice a conference has booked a panel of 20 expert speakers and zero are Black women, send them an email (or post a message) and call them out.
We’re at a unique moment in history where many companies are actually listening and willing to change. Let your voice be heard.
Also, watch the Power Offers Masterclass (it’s free) and learn how to start making a truckload more money. You’re welcome.
Let’s change these numbers and create financial equity and justice.
We can do it. And it happens one woman at a time. First one. Then another. Then thousands. And, one day, all those annual reports and numbers start looking very different.
Rachel and the Hello Seven Team
PS. Say their names. Know their stories. Honor their legacies.
Bessie Coleman. World’s first licensed Black (and Native American) pilot. First in the skies. Bessie was born 5 years before Amelia Earhart. Ethel Waters. First Black woman to star in her own TV show. Jane Bolin. First Black female judge in the US. Dr. Alexa Canady. First Black woman neurosurgeon in the US. She saved thousands of lives (mostly children) throughout her career. Marsha P. Johnson. A trans woman who fought for LGBTQ rights. One of the first women to go to the Stonewall Inn after they began allowing women inside. (It was previously a bar for gay men, only.) Marian Anderson. First Black person to perform at the Metropolitan Opera, and first Black woman ever invited to perform at the White House.
They were first.
What historic *first* will you create in your lifetime?
Will you become the first CEO in your family? First millionaire? First multi-millionaire? First to own real estate? First to pass down generational wealth? Or maybe another incredible first?
Go make history.