Over the centuries, American businesses have largely been owned and controlled by White Americans. African Americans, although an active part of the American economy, have not been known as major players of owning businesses. Statistics for the past decade reveal that revenues for businesses owned by African Americans total to less than a $100 billion. Firms owned by African Americans only compose at most, 7% of all United States businesses, excluding farms. That means that only less than 1.4 million businesses in the United States are African American-owned.
Minorities and communities often elect members of Congress and Senate that would not only represent them, but would entitle them to certain benefits and programs for the improvement of their lives. Thus, congressmen and senators provide African American business grants to promising African American businessmen who want to start a new business, or perhaps expand their firms. These grants are provided in the Federal, as well as State and Local government levels. African American entrepreneurs can take advantage of millions of dollars available for them – whether to start a business, expand one’s business, or for personal use. Grants programs are abundant in every state; entrepreneurs just need to be more resourceful in looking for them. There are grants foundations that target minority groups, but majority of them look beyond race and actually extend assistance to any deserving organization. Examples of them are Chambers of Commerce in different states, and Office of Business Development found in most states.
Other than elected officials giving out grants, African American business grants are also offered by community organizations and foundations. An example of such an organization is the African-American Community Fund. Grants ranging from $500 to $1,000 are now available to deserving businesses. Usually reserved for non-profit organizations, they are now more open to equally creative, imaginative, and innovative start ups.