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Black, Hispanic Women Have Entrepreneurial Goals, Not Resources

Black, Hispanic Women Have Entrepreneurial Goals, Not Resources

by Ellyn Maese and Camille Lloyd

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The latest Gallup Center on Black Voices survey finds entrepreneurial ambitions are relatively high among Black and Hispanic women younger than 60. Majorities of Black and Hispanic women in this age group say they would be interested in starting a business if they had the resources to do so.

More Black women than Hispanic or White women in the U.S. say they have plans to start a business. The data also reveal that female business owners are more satisfied with their standard of living than non-business owners with the same income level.

Black, Hispanic Women Most Likely to Express Desire to Start a Business

The Center’s survey, conducted Oct. 25 to Nov. 9, 2023, via a probability-based web panel, suggests there may be untapped potential for entrepreneurship among women who do not yet own a business.

Nationally, 44% of women would like to start a business if they had the resources, compared with 51% of men. Entrepreneurial desire is especially strong among Black (57%) and Hispanic (55%) women, who are much more likely than White women (38%) to express an interest in opening their own business.


Meanwhile, 27% of Black women under 60 say they are planning to start their own business in the next 12 months, a rate that is more than five times greater than for White women (5%) and about double the rate of Hispanic women (14%).

While there are many reasons why plans to start a business do not come to fruition, these reported goals suggest that entrepreneurship is an important aspiration for millions of women nationwide and may be particularly salient for Black women.

Financial and Nonfinancial Resources Are Barriers to Women’s Entrepreneurship

While just 13% of men under 60 say they lack the financial and/or nonfinancial resources to start a business, a third of women in this age group (33%) say the same.

Improving access to financial and nonfinancial resources could make a real difference in providing entrepreneurship opportunities for women -- a key consideration when women-owned businesses still make up only 22% of employer businesses in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent Annual Business Survey (ABS).

Female Business Owners Report Higher Satisfaction With Standard of Living

The power of women taking ownership of their own economic opportunity is reflected in how they feel about their standard of living -- what they can buy and do -- when they own their own business. Even among women with similar levels of annual household income, those who report owning a business are more likely to report being satisfied with their standard of living.

The boost from business ownership may be particularly important for those with lower income levels. Among 18- to 59-year-old women in households earning less than $60,000 per year, 58% of those who own their own business are satisfied with their standard of living, compared with 35% of those who do not own their own business.



These findings corroborate that financial and nonfinancial resources remain a barrier to entrepreneurship for women and that women are more likely than men to report facing these obstacles. Removing these barriers is crucial to giving women an opportunity to create their own economic opportunities and improve their financial wellbeing.

Black and Hispanic women are particularly inclined toward entrepreneurship: Majorities report that they would be interested in starting a business if they had the resources, and they are more likely than White women to report plans to do so. Expanding opportunities for entrepreneurship can improve economic equity -- across Black communities and local economies, as well as the national wealth gap.

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