If you’ve been paying attention to the world of business recently, you may have heard mention of black owned businesses. However, what exactly does that mean? Over the course of this guide, we’re going to take a look at what a black owned business is and if there are any prerequisites to be one.
What is a black owned business? A black owned business is originally an American term for a business that is owned by African Americans. However, in recent years, it has come to mean any business that is owned and operated by members of the African diaspora in a wide range of countries.
Of course, a lot more goes into defining a black owned business than a single paragraph, so we’re going to take the time to go into detail about what a black owned business is.
What is a Black Owned Business?
Starting a black owned business can be as simple as starting up your own coffee shop or makeup business, provided you’re a member of the African community in your native country. Keep in mind that there’s a bit of nuance that goes into whether or not a business is black owned in the first place.
How to Tell if a Business is Black Owned
If you’re talking about smaller, family-run businesses, then it’s pretty easy to tell if you’re shopping black owned. This is because the family running a black owned business will be black themselves, though as companies and businesses get larger, it can be difficult to tell if they’re actually black owned.
This is because the ownership of a company becomes less and less evident as the company grows. Would you consider the owner of a medium-sized company to be the person that founded it or the person that’s still running it? In these cases, the lines between a black owned business and another type of business can be somewhat blurred.
This arises when discussing public companies too. In the case of a company like Lowe’s, where the head of the company is an African American but the majority of the shareholders aren’t, is it still a black owned business?
Everyone has their own standards for measuring whether or not a business is black owned, and since there’s no official way to tell if that’s the case or not, you can use your own yardstick. If you feel like a business is black owned if the CEO is black, then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
On the other hand, if you feel like a business is black owned as long as the founder was black, that’s also a legitimate point.
Black Owned Businesses Represent the Unity of the Black Community
Remember that, at the end of the day, black owned businesses are a way for the black community to show unity and strength. The term “black owned business” celebrates everything that black people have been able to do despite the historical setbacks that they have had to face.
If you want to celebrate a business for being black owned because of their CEO, that’s reasonable because of the work that CEO had to do to get to that position. It’s no secret that it’s an uphill battle for black people to become CEOs of major companies in countries like America, after all.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should blindly support a business because it says that it’s black owned because there’s no gauge to tell whether that’s true. There have been reports of businesses saying that they’re black owned to bring in more customers when that’s entirely untrue.
Should You Support a Black Owned Business?
Unfortunately, you may sometimes have to do some research to determine if a business is black owned and if you want to support them because of that fact. There’s also the fact that other factors go into the decision of whether you’ll support a business, like their policies when it comes to sustainability and eco-friendliness.
However, the thing that you need to remember is that it’s your money and you can support any business that you want with it and it’s nobody’s business to tell you otherwise. Unless the company you’re supporting is doing truly horrible things, there’s not much that other people can do to sway you.
A black owned business is what we make of it, so if your standards don’t line up with someone else’s when it comes to what a black owned business means, there’s nothing wrong with that.