A Wells Fargo Economic Group report shows Black Americans have made significant economic progress in recent years, taking control of their financial futures.
According to Wells Fargo, 35% of Black women in the U.S. owned a business in 2019, 15% higher than the share of female-owned businesses in the overall U.S. economy.
Additionally, Black women have made gains in corporate board seats and even though just 4% of Black women are on corporate seats today, that is an increase of 25% from 2019, double the rate of women overall.
Black women have taken advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic, using their skills to start businesses in numerous disciplines including lingerie, beauty, and even feminine products. Additionally, a number of brands have made pledges to help Black women-owned businesses including Sephora, Target, Walmart, and other retail brands.
The Wells Fargo report also shows a growth in the Black population overall as Black Americans account for more than 25% of the population of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina. At the same time, the Black population in South Dakota and Maine have risen by 75% and 64%, respectively, as the study pointed out their low cost of living and employment opportunities.
The study, released in February, examined how Black Americans in the U.S. have faced significant structural obstacles that have kept them from full economic participation. Despite the obstacles, Black Americans have made real economic progress.
“The historical structural exclusion of the community from full engagement with the country’s economic, political and educational institutions likely have played a major role in shaping this current employment distribution,” the report states.
The Wells Fargo report also showed an increase in Black Americans pursuing higher education. According to the report, the number of Black Americans who have completed four years of college has grown 41% over the past decade, compared to just 25% for the total population.