About one half (50%) of all new businesses fail at some point their first five years. The success rate is even lower for Black, Brown, or Women owned businesses, with the SBA indicating about 75% fail after 5 years. Women and minority businesses also have significantly less revenue and profits as compared to white owned businesses according to the SBA.
Women and minorities face many barriers, discrimination and challenges that white men don’t; both in business and in life. I have mentored and supported dozens of minority and women owned businesses through my volunteer work at SCORE as well as Pacific Community Ventures. I fully realize that I can never “feel” the discrimination those business owners have faced, and I can never know all of the exact challenges faced by Black business owners, women, and others. That being said, I know those challenges and systemic racism/sexism exists. I have witnessed on a first hand basis, with my own eyes, some of the discrimination and barriers that Black, Brown, and women business owners have faced, and I have had heard their stories. Plus I am a student of history. I also loves math, numbers, science, and data, and believe in them. I always tell people to take the emotions out of the topic, and if you do so, the fact is that every objectionable measurement confirms that there is systemic racism and sexism in the US.
Why was the free business directory launched?
Warren Buffet famously said he “won the ovarian lottery”, and by that he meant being born white, male, and in America. I too have won the ovarian lottery. As I am a white male. My mom recently passed away. She did so much to raise me and my siblings when I was younger, as my dad (who was an alcoholic) walked out on my mom, me, and my 5 siblings when I was about 13 years old. He never paid a dime of child support for me and my siblings or alimony to my mom. My dad walking out forced my mom to re-enter the workforce, and she worked multiple jobs over the years (even night shifts) at the same time she cared for her kids. I have no idea how she did it. While I know that was tough for her, and to me for some extent, that financial insecurity and emotional hardship faced by me and my family was nothing compared to what minorities and women (regardless of their race) face every day. Millions of kids and families had and have it so much worse that I did.
I think seeing my mom work so hard to provide for her kids, working multiple jobs at very low wages, and doing her best to hold the family together (all while she must have been dealing with emotional trauma from having lived with a raging alcoholic). I think her doing all that gave me my drive to succeed – and to give back to the less fortunate. I was investing in stocks as a teenager, I was promoted to the youngest director at the company I worked for, and I later founded multiple successful online businesses.
Several years ago I cut way back on my work hours and started to volunteer more and become more involved in social causes. One of my goals has always been to give back to the less fortunate. I have been doing that for years through my online services of needhelppayingbills.com as well as financialliteracyhelp.com. This free website listing minority and women owned businesses is another way to do that. The goal is to help drive traffic to women and minority businesses, provide free advice, fight back against racism and sexism, and help (as much as possible) these businesses succeed. Heck, even if one business makes one more sale from this free directory, than that is better than nothing! But I know the website will be much more than that, with your help!
By Jon McNamara