Black Women Deserve Support
In April 2020, at the start of the pandemic, we conducted a survey to learn how COVID-19 was affecting Black Women Business Owners. We learned that the majority of business owners were negatively affected by the shutdown:
Figure 1: Effect of COVID-19 on Net Income
% of Owners Concerned
Unable to pay suppliers
Unable to fulfill orders
Unable to pay wages (including your own)
Unable to pay basic business needs (rent/mortgage, utilities)
Unable to pay basic personal needs (rent/mortgage, utilities, groceries, healthcare)
Table 1: Concerns
As many as 53.5% of business owners reported a drop in their net income. This was compounded by lack of access to capital, lack of support, operational issues, and gaps in foundational business frameworks due to lack of resources and support.
For more data like this and a deeper dive into the characteristics and needs of Black Women Business Owners prior to and during the pandemic, download our Pre-Pandemic and COVID-19 Comparative Report. It compares data that we collected in December 2018, to the data that we collected in the beginning of the pandemic.
Download the report for full access to the data.
Listening session with Black Women Business Owners in Nashville, Tennessee on July 13, 2023
However, the beginning of the pandemic was very different to what we all experienced during and after the shutdown. Since our previous studies, we've witnessed:
1. The long-term effects of COVID-19 on Black Women-Owned Businesses
2. The aftermath of the public support for Black businesses during the social justice uprising, including the influx and waning of business thereafter
3. The impact of fleeting DEI and supply chain diversity initiatives, especially those that cut funding or failed to deliver after the public statements of 2020
We now know that Black Women and other historically excluded communities were disproportionately affected because these quick-response initiatives mostly exacerbated existing inequalities.
We’re Launching A 2023 Study
Which is why we’re undertaking a new study, A Black Woman Case Study, to gather updated information on the specific challenges Black Women Business Owners have faced during COVID-19 and the social justice uprising, and to ask about their needs.
This research can inform policies, programs and support mechanisms that empower Black Women Business Owners. And ultimately our goal is for all stakeholders to be able to foster their growth and success, and to contribute to inclusive economic development overall.
Our study will also amplify Black Women’s voices and help us collectively move towards a more equitable business landscape.
To participate in A Black Woman Case Study, click the button below to complete the survey.