The Role of Small Business in Addressing the Racial Wealth Divide

Racial Wealth Divide

Amidst a bitter presidential election cycle, income inequality has been garnering much more media coverage. Recently, David Brancaccio, host of American Public Media’s Marketplace Morning Report, delved into the issue from an economic and racial perspective.

The topic at hand was a new report looking at America’s wealth gap which found that with current public policies, it will take black families over two hundred years to accumulate the same amount of wealth that white Americans have in 2016. The numbers are not much better for other racial minorities. It will take the average Latino family 84 years to catch up.

One Solution

While the amount of time is startling, we cannot let what looks insurmountable prevent progress. So what can be done to create a more equitable America? The authors of the report suggest public policy changes such as “expanding eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit, removing barriers to retirement savings, and ensuring every child in the country has a Children’s Savings Account.” Political and legal steps like these are important, but they are only part of the puzzle. The private sector has a role to play in trimming the country’s racial wealth divide. It goes without saying that small businesses are the engine of America’s economy. More than a job, entrepreneurship and small business development creates livelihoods and in many circumstances long-term stability for those who leap from employment to business and wealth ownership.

Businesses, like the Black Women’s Wealth Alliance (BWWA), are on the front lines of chipping away at wealth racial disparities. The BWWA’s mission statement emphasizes that the divide will not be overcome overnight, but rather through hard-work and perseverance,

We are an alliance of wealth-minded women who focus on cultivating and providing strategies that will help black women learn the essential financial skills to create wealth and lasting financial security for generations to come. Cultivating strategies. Creating wealth. Changing lives.

Public benefit corporations, which are socially-minded, for-profit enterprises, allow entrepreneurs to do well and do good at the same time.

Attorney Kim Lowe helps social entrepreneurs in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, navigate the complex legal and business issues faced by the modern social enterprise.  Utilizing decades of legal, business and leadership experience, as well as her nationally recognized unique cross-sector expertise, Kim helps business and thought leaders create, fund and operate for-profit enterprises, benefit corporations, cooperatives and/or nonprofit organizations within the equitable economy movement.