by Regina Curry, Chief Diversity Officer, Franklin Templeton
Filling consumers’ needs can bridge communities with entrepreneurs and companies, but biases can cause missed opportunities. Chief Diversity Officer Regina Curry discusses the increasing financial strengths of Black and African American communities, a projected US $1.7 trillion economic bloc in 2030. Companies and entrepreneurs will find that serving Black and African American consumers, investors, and communities will cultivate markets that may seem invisible.
Let go of blind spots to reveal limitless ideas.
Entrepreneurs, the business world’s dream makers, see many opportunities and needs from a consumers’ lens then imagine and manifest solutions. Filling consumers’ needs can bridge communities with entrepreneurs and companies, but biases can cause missed opportunities. Companies that have not viewed Black and African American consumers and investors as a priority demographic for generations have missed and underserved essential needs, such as food, housing, healthcare, broadband, banking, and investing.1 Yet, despite their financial invisibility to many, Black and African American communities and entrepreneurs continue to increase in financial strength:
- At US$910 billion in 2019 to a projected US$1.7 trillion in 2030, Black and African American-buying power continues to grow in the United States as a powerful economic bloc, matching the gross domestic product of Mexico, Canada, and Italy.2
- The Black and African American-buying power boost developed from a rise in cohort businesses ownership, population, and educational attainment with more college graduates, and the youth cohort yet to reach peak earning and buying-power years.3
- Not a monolithic economic bloc, Black and African American consumers have shifting and diversifying preferences.4 The 2020 US Census reported that while the Black or African American population alone grew 5.6% since 2010, the multiracial Black or African American “in combination” population grew 88.7%.5
- Black and African Americans hold more investments in cryptocurrency, real estate trusts, ETFs (exchange-traded funds), and college savings plans as compared to the US general public, according to respondents in our recent survey study.6
- Entrepreneurial activity increased from Black and African Americans as the overall US rate of entrepreneurship declined over the past 30 years. Black and African American women and millennials rose as the fastest growing groups of US business owners.7
Black and African American entrepreneurs start businesses more than any other US community.8 Funding these businesses and real-estate ventures remains one of the greatest wealth-building opportunities.9 Companies and entrepreneurs will find that serving Black and African American consumers, investors, and communities will cultivate markets that may seem invisible. We all benefit when we eliminate biases and build bridges that connect communities with economic opportunities for generations to come.
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1. Source: McKinsey Quarterly, “The Black consumer: A $300 billion opportunity,” August 6, 2021.
2. Source: McKinsey Institute for Black Economic Mobility, “Black consumers: Where to invest for equity (a preview),” December 15, 2021.
3. Source: University of Georgia, “Minority Markets Have $3.9 Trillion Buying Power,” March 21, 2019.
4. Source: McKinsey Institute for Black Economic Mobility, “Black consumers: Where to invest for equity (a preview),” December 15, 2021.
5. Source: United States Census Bureau, “2020 Census Illuminates Racial and Ethnic Composition of the Country,” August 12, 2021.
6. Source: As of August 5, 2022, Franklin Templeton Investments, in partnership with Chadwick Martin Bailey, conducted a survey among a sample of 2,281 US adults ages 18 or older with at least $100K in investable assets. The sample includes key populations and audiences including: Millennials (298); Women 50+ (300); Latinx & Hispanics (295); Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders (299); Black & African Americans (595); LGBTQ+ (292); general population (502). Franklin Templeton Investments or any of its affiliates are not affiliated with Chadwick Martin Bailey.
7. Sources: Entrepreneur, “Entrepreneurship and Millennials Are Thriving in Emerging Markets,” September 6, 2017; blackenterprise.com, “The Best New Way for African Americans to Invest In or Start a Business: Equity Crowdfunding,” February 8, 2018; and U.S. News & World Report, “Why the Rate of Black Business Ownership Is Going Up,” April 13, 2022.
9. Source: “The Best New Way for African Americans to Invest In or Start a Business: Equity Crowdfunding,” February 8, 2018.