Report: It will take 333 years to erase equity gap for minority-owned businesses

Posted at 10:14 AM, May 06, 2021

It will take 333 years for minority-owned businesses to achieve revenue equity with white-owned businesses in the United States, the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council said.

President and CEO Michelle Sourie Robinson said increasing supplier diversity remains a significant challenge, and achieving parity would bring a significant boost to the overall economy.

Robinson said Black-owned and white-owned businesses would add $290 billion in overall wealth.

New MMSDC research shows increased corporate commitment to minority businesses could close the gap in 15 years.

She said a key solution to shortening the timeline is a deliberate and intentional focus on minority firms access to and spending from corporations.

"This research makes it crystal clear that the current path is one we cannot continue if we wish to achieve economic equity for people of color in our lifetimes," Robinson said.

A report commissioned by the MMSDC assessed the growth rate of minority business enterprises and determine the gap that remains in revenue parity for MBEs. View the full research findings here.

MMSDC reports that by 2045, people of color are expected to make up more than 50 percent of the U.S. population. Companies that are not responsive to this growing customer base are more likely to be left behind, which is another incentive for MBE spending growth.

"After decades of stagnation, it's time for corporations to go beyond words, and take actions that help create lasting wealth within communities of color," Robinson said. "By doing so, ALL communities will benefit."

In the study findings, the "Path to Parity" recommendations include:

  • Consider MBE spending across all categories. Go beyond construction and manufacturing and look into technology and professional services, too.
  • Help create viable pools of MBEs by removing barriers to access. Black and Hispanic businesses only received 2.6 percent of all venture funding in 2020, for example. Increased access to capital will accelerate revenue growth among certified minority businesses.
  • Help to train the next generation of minority business owners, giving them the knowledge to one day start their own businesses.
  • Incorporate achievable goals and metrics to quantify the corporate benefits of supplier diversity and small business programs. For many years, organizations have promoted the need to support small and diverse businesses, yet most rarely establish an industry-wide project plan to do so.