Black Americans have struggled to make a way out of no way for centuries. Faced with rampant racism and discrimination, industrious Black Americans do for self, launching their own businesses. The number of businesses owned by Black American women grew 322% since 1997, making black females the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the United States. Women now own 30% of all businesses in the U.S., accounting for some 9.4 million firms. And Black American women control 14% of these companies, or an estimated 1.3 million businesses. The growth in women-owned firms may be due to the lack of fair pay, fair promotion, and family-friendly policies found in corporate America. Women of color are impacted more significantly by all of the negative factors that women face.
The highest concentrations of black woman-owned businesses are in Georgia, Maryland, and Illinois, but Black American women are launching companies in growing numbers across the country. Cassandra Bell-Gash launched a Medicaid waiver care in North Carolina in 2003 and grew the business into a million-dollar venture only to get sabotaged by bureaucratic mumbo-gumbo that delayed payments and interfered with client services forcing her to close in 2008. No untoward findings were made, but the interference caused Ms. Bell-Gash to close her business and regroup. Bell-Gash is unusual among entrepreneurs of any race or gender in that she employed more than just herself. Black American Women have an incredibly steep incline trying to do two things: one is just to be successful, and the other is to create wealth. Cassandra Bell-Gash relaunched her company, Life Provisions,Inc. (LPI) this Spring 2015 saying she was "delayed, but not detered".
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