Women of Color Faced with Entrepreneurship Barriers

February 27, 2021


Women of Color Faced with Entrepreneurship Barriers

Northwest Arkansas is known for its startup culture. Whether you're talking about restaurants, technology companies, supply chain, or acai bowls (which we wrote about here), the resources are abundant. However, are the same opportunities and resources available to all?

  • In a recent study conducted by the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas and the University of Central Arkansas, researchers sought to identify gaps in Arkansas’ entrepreneurial ecosystem, specifically for black female business owners. The study overwhelmingly found that access to capital was the largest barrier for participants -Talk Business & Politics
  • The study began in early 2020 and included multiple focus groups with 44 women of color who started and own businesses in Arkansas. The report also examined how these business owners adapted to the pandemic economy. 41% of participants mentioned they received some sort of aid from government programs - yet 58.8% said they received none at all.
  • “Women of color business owners have basically had to figure it out on their own because of systemic barriers," said Women's Foundation of Arkansas Executive Director Anna Beth Gorman. -Talk Business & Politics
  • Furthermore, Gorman mentioned that black women own 60% of all black-owned businesses in the state. The study also found that 72% of women of color in the study created their own businesses in pursuit of financial security and work flexibility; Nearly half were also pursuing a passion and community service.
  • Interested and want to read more? It can be found HERE

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