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Building a business isn’t easy, but it can be especially challenging for minority entrepreneurs. Explore some success stories and programs that can help.
Creating, sustaining and growing a successful business is no simple feat, particularly if you’re a minority entrepreneur. Most business owners face obstacles from time to time, yet these challenges are significantly heightened for minority- and women-owned businesses. Discrimination, limited access to capital, fewer network connections and language barriers are just a few examples of obstacles to be conquered. In light of these disparities, many large enterprises have launched programs and initiatives to address inequities and break down barriers for minority- and women-owned businesses.
In this post, we’ll share the inspiring stories of eight successful minority entrepreneurs, and explore some of the programs and resources available to diverse business owners.
According to the US Census Bureau, nearly 20% of businesses in 2020 were minority-owned. Starting a new business takes vision, perseverance and a willingness to work longer and harder than most people can imagine — traits that all of these minority entrepreneurs happen to share. Along the way, they have overcome doubts and challenges to build highly successful companies. The following stories illustrate what is possible for business leaders with access to the right resources and a growth mindset.
It goes without saying that entrepreneurs need a strong will to succeed. But they also need financial resources. For minority entrepreneurs, funding options can be limited and hard to access, even in the best of economic times. A Federal Reserve study found that minority-owned businesses typically receive less business financing, less often and at higher interest rates.
Fortunately, more and more corporations are offering financial programs and resources to certified diverse businesses to help minority entrepreneurs overcome gaps in financial and social capital. Options such as those listed below can provide a vital source of funding to help traditionally underserved communities launch or grow an existing business.
Minority entrepreneurs often have fewer working capital financing options and a higher cost of borrowing, which can make it particularly challenging to address cash flow. However, many large enterprise buyers have launched initiatives to support diverse suppliers by providing a debt-free solution to cash flow issues — early payment programs.
Early payment programs help suppliers like you boost cash flow by accelerating payment on invoices in exchange for a small discount. If you have large enterprise customers, they may already be using C2FO’s Early Pay platform. This means you can log in and request early payment on their outstanding invoices to increase your working capital immediately.
On C2FO’s platform, enterprises can create a dedicated opportunity marketplace where diverse suppliers can request early payment on invoices at competitive rates. For example, Albertsons Companies launched its opportunity marketplace in 2021 to help diverse-owned businesses alleviate immediate capital challenges by making access to working capital more equitable with funding at significantly lower rates.
To address funding disparities, the Schultz Family Foundation and C2FO launched a new partnership that provides accessible, affordable lines of credit to diverse and underserved, high-potential businesses. The foundation’s Entrepreneurs Equity Fund will enable C2FO to power $100 million in loans in the partnership’s first year.
For the minority entrepreneurs profiled here, it took more than just hard work and determination to overcome systemic barriers and build successful businesses — it also took access to financial resources. C2FO has seen firsthand how reliable access to funding can give minority entrepreneurs the boost they need to be successful. In the first half of 2022 alone, C2FO accelerated more than $2.5 billion in early payments to diverse-owned businesses worldwide.
Need cash flow to take your business to the next level? See if your enterprise customers are using C2FO’s Early Payment platform or offering an opportunity marketplace.
This article originally published January 2022, and was updated May 2023.
In this article:
Diverse supplier certification and programs can have a huge impact on the success of women- and minority-owned businesses. Learn why and how you can benefit.
In the US, we often talk about the American Dream — the belief that anyone, regardless of their color, creed, birthplace and other characteristics, can achieve their version of success.
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