Celebrating African-American entrepreneurs

February 07, 2014

Throughout February, we’ll highlight African-American small business owners who will share their stories of what it means to be an entrepreneur.

Each February, people across the U.S. recognize Black History Month, first celebrated as a week-long event recognizing the achievements of African-Americans. While we commend entrepreneurs of all ethnicities on the Hiscox blog, we thought there’s no better time than February to celebrate African-American entrepreneurs in action.

The entrepreneurial spirit of African-Americans dates back to the 18th century. From banking to real estate to insurance, African-Americans left their mark on a number of industries. Probably one of the most well-known Black business owners is John H. Johnson, founder of the Johnson Publishing Company that includes Ebony and JET Magazines, which are still in print today. In 2007, which are the most recent statistics available, a survey released by the U.S. Census Bureau confirmed that African-American owned businesses grew by over 60% between 2002 and 2007, increasing at triple the national rate of business ownership. These numbers are extraordinary! We’re certain that if more up-to-date research was available, it would show that Black owned businesses have continued to see growth. In December 2013, we hosted a virtual summit, “Setting Up Your Small Business for Success in 2014,” that featured technology entrepreneur, Amos Winbush III, who happens to be African-American. Amos is the founder of the universal data synchronization software CyberSynchs.  He is also an advocate of entrepreneurship and often promotes the benefits of business ownership among minorities and youth. In 2010, Amos was named the Innovator of the Year by the Black Enterprise Magazine. Another resource for promoting entrepreneurship in the African-American community is the NewMe Accelerator. NewMe is an incubator for minority entrepreneurs, a place where business owners can go to launch or grow their companies. Since its launch, the accelerator has helped almost 40 entrepreneurs pursue their dream of entrepreneurship. For the remainder of the month, we’ll bring you African-American business owners who will share their stories of what it means to be an entrepreneur and insight on launching or growing a business. Visit the Hiscox small business blog throughout February to hear their stories. Are you an African-American small business owner? Leave a comment with information about your business and we’ll share it with our social media community.