The U.S. has long operated without being an inclusive economy. It’s a fact of American life that’s most apparent in data on racial wealth gaps. In 2019, the median net worth of a white family in the U.S. was about $188,200 compared to $24,100 for Black families, according to the Survey of Consumer Finances. Two broad factors help to explain the roots of the American racial wealth: discriminatory laws and compound interest.
Closing racial gaps among business owners could have massive effects on the economy. A 2020 Brookings Institution report estimated what would happen if Black businesses reached parity with non-Black businesses, finding that it would create 806,218 more Black-owned businesses, increase revenue among Black businesses by $676,356,621,618, and create about 1.6 million jobs. More broadly, narrowing the racial wealth gap could strengthen the middle class and significantly boost the GDP.
A network of entrepreneurs, advocates, and community leaders, including Common Future, MORTAR, and PolicyLink, are part of that effort to close this gap. Click here to learn more about new documentary by Skoll and Freethink* and how we’re taking on this important challenge.