Opportunities and Obstacles for Minority Entrepreneurs
According to the 2021 U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Business Survey, approximately 18.3% of all U.S. employer businesses are owned by minorities and about 19.9% are owned by women. Women-owned businesses are growing at twice the rate of all businesses nationwide—accounting for 42% of all U.S. firms in 2019 according to a recent report from the National Association of Women Business Owners.
While these historically underutilized businesses have more opportunities than ever before, they still face disproportionate obstacles when starting, expanding, and sustaining their businesses. In addition, the far-reaching effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic have hit minority-and women-owned small businesses particularly hard. Many of these businesses are struggling to recover. Finding ways to overcome these challenges can spur innovation and improve productivity—benefitting the economy at local, national, and global scales.
Here are a few opportunities for minority business owners to explore:
- Make the Most of Available Resources and Opportunities
If you’re a woman-, minority- or veteran-owned small business owner, you may have access to business resources and opportunities you may not even be aware of. There are many federal, state, local and private programs designed to support and accelerate the growth of your business, including government contracts, grants, business training, tax incentives and increased funding. Look into small business designations, such as the Minority Business Enterprise, or any subgroups you’re eligible for, such as women veterans, which may open up additional opportunities based on your qualifications. When pursuing these types of resources, keep in mind that they can be highly competitive with lengthy application processes and strict timelines.
- Consider Small Business Banking and Credit Solutions
Whether you’re looking to add a new location, purchase new equipment or acquire another business, finding a bank that aligns with your business goals is key. Allegiance Bank specializes in supporting Houston-area businesses. From our full-service business banking accounts to treasury solutions to loans, we’re committed to building a relationship with you and investing in your success. Through a partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 7(a) and 504 loan programs, our SBA lending team can provide entrepreneurs with financing terms not available elsewhere under conventional loan guidelines. We make loan decisions locally, which improves the SBA loan process and allows minority-owned businesses to retain more working capital and improve their cash flow. You can always talk to an Allegiance Banker about the best business banking or loan solutions for you.
- Tap Into Community Support
Small businesses have a positive social, economic, and environmental impact on their local communities. According to the SBA, when someone spends $100 at a small business, $48 is recirculated back into the local economy. So, when it comes to growing your business, networking can go a long way to increasing your exposure and long-term success. Reach out to your local SBA office, community bank, chamber of commerce and patrons to build relationships, develop innovative solutions and gather support.
Visit our Financial Education Center for more information about growing your small business, including topics on minority business opportunities, how to fund your business, how to manage a growing team—and more.
Additional Minority Business Resources
- GovLoans – Information regarding different types of federal loans and how to apply.
- Greater Houston Partnership – A membership organization that brings together Houston-area businesses and civic leaders.
- Houston Business Development, Inc. – Provides supportive services to local small businesses.
- Houston Minority Business Development Agency – Specializes in helping minority businesses access procurement opportunities, markets, and capital.
- Texas Economic Development – Resources for veteran-, minority- and women-owned small businesses.
- U.S. Small Business Administration – Different types of loans to start, expand or purchase a business.