A Brief History of Black-Owned Businesses

Being an entrepreneur and businessperson does not depend on your gender, race, and color of your skin. The main goal of capitalism is to allow everyone to share their business creativity and compete with each other globally, nationally, and locally.

When it comes to black-owned businesses, you should have in mind that it originates before slavery stopped in the US. However, the Reconstruction Era that started in the mid-19th century allowed everyone to operate within the legal boundaries in America and abroad.

That is the main reason why we recommend you to read the article about black owned companies so that you can learn more about it.

By the end of the 19th century, thousands of small businesses had opened all across the US. The growth increased rapidly at the beginning of the 20th century.

At the same time, the Jim Crow’s system that implemented the segregation model moved urban African-Americans into communities that became significant enough to function within the boundaries.

Booker T. Washington promoted the National Negro Business League affected the rise of small businesses and led to opening numerous black-owned businesses in the areas with the mostly black population.

During the ‘20s of the previous centuries, there were more than ten thousands of black-owned businesses all across the United States. Of course, most of them were small and depended on the community to operate correctly.

Keep in mind that the most significant companies back in the day were insurance companies. At the same time, the National Negro Business League has grown significantly that it had numerous offices across the US.

Click here to learn more about the National Negro Business League in general.

Since most businesses were small and dependent on regular people and cash flow, when the Great Depression affected the entire country, it created a severe blow in the black community.

That is when the cash income fell significantly because people lose economic power, and unemployment reached a peak. As a result, numerous small businesses closed down.

When World War II entered the scene, numerous owners and employees started operating in high-paying jobs in munitions factories. However, things were problematic in several states, until the Civil Rights Movement of the ‘60s urged the government to think about African-Americans.

That was the main reason why, during the ‘70s, federal programs started to promote minority businesses and provided new ways of funding. That is when they opened doors of large corporations for all minorities, which affected the black-owned businesses as well.

You probably know that black entrepreneurs started in sports and music and created brand names that made success internationally, which was something that paved the road to modern times.

Importance of Women in Black-Owned Businesses

When it comes to black-owned businesses and handling gender equality, African-Americans were more liberal towards women-owned businesses, especially in the field of beauty.

Since the standards of beauty were entirely different for blacks and whites, the African-American community created their standards with the focus on hair care.

Therefore, women would work from storefronts, but apart from that, they could go to work from their own homes, which was a revolution compared with Caucasian women.

At the same time, African-American beauticians created new ways and methods of cosmetics, which was something that white women avoided in the long run. At the same time, they offered their clients a space to feel both beautiful and pampered in their communities.

At the same time, black beauty parlors and shops became essential places of socialization and political gatherings that urged changes that happened afterward.

Madame C. J. Walker

Madame C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company was a long-standing and sizeable national franchise based on the invention of hair straightening processes.

As soon as Marjorie Joyner graduated beauty school in Chicago as the first black graduate, she met Madame Walker and became her agent.

Soon afterward, she became a supervisor of more than 200 beauty schools from Madame Walker that opened all across the US.

We recommend you to visit this link: https://www.biography.com/inventor/madam-cj-walker to learn more about Madame C. J. Walker in general.

The main idea was to send hairstylists by using direct marketing or door-to-door approach, dressed in white blouses with black satchels and skirts, and they applied various beauty products inside the customer’s house.

During the fifty-year career, Madame Walker taught more than 15 thousand stylists and she created a revolution that brought us to modern ages in which everyone has a chance of becoming successful.