Welcome to Breaking the Blueprint — a blog series that dives into the unique business challenges and opportunities of underrepresented business owners and entrepreneurs. Learn how they’ve grown or scaled their businesses, explored entrepreneurial ventures within their companies, or created side hustles, and how their stories can inspire and inform your own success.
White-owned businesses receive an average of $18,500 in outside equity at funding, compared to just $500 for Black-owned businesses.
On top of that, it can also be challenging for Black entrepreneurs to find mentorship, resources, and even community with other business owners with their shared experiences.
Thankfully, there are cities where Black entrepreneurs, past, present, and future, thrive and have access to the resources and support they need. Read on to discover five of the top cities for Black entrepreneurs.
Top Cities for Black Entrepreneurs
1. Washington, D.C.
Sometimes called the Chocolate City, Washington D.C. was the first majority Black major city in the United States in 1957.
Its Black population has lessened since then, but LendingTree ranks it the second-best city for Black Entrepreneurs, with 8,649 of its 111,872 businesses being Black-owned with an average revenue of 95,230 (according to IncFile).
Black entrepreneurs in the city have access to various programs, resources, and support, like the Greater Washington DC Black Chamber of Commerce, Black Owned Small Business Expo, and the Washington Area Community Investment Fund.
It’s also home to HBCU Howard University, where HubSpot has made significant investments in helping students with entrepreneurial interests develop their skills, some of whom might be interested in working for a new business venture.
2. Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas, is the birthplace of Beyoncé and Megan Thee Stallion, two famous Black women with successful entrepreneurial ventures.
Almost four thousand of over 111,041 businesses in the city are Black-owned, but the city makes up for it in its offerings. For example:
- The Business Readiness Training Program provides support and development opportunities
- Black Book Houston brings visibility to Black-owned businesses
- The entire state of Texas ranks in the top 10 best states for women in business and has the second highest startup survival rate of 81.90%
The Black Marketing Initiative brings Black entrepreneurs through a training, mentoring, and networking program to help them succeed.
3. Atlanta, Georgia
Dubbed the Black Mecca, Atlanta is home to famous Black entrepreneurs like Rick Ross and Cardi B. In a city of 113,110 businesses, 7,539 (6.75%) are Black-owned, meaning that there is a community of Black entrepreneurs that already live there.
Atlanta also has ample resources and opportunities for Black business owners, like the Atlanta Black Chambers, the University of Georgia Office of Small Business Development’s Multicultural Business Division, and events like WeBuyBlack that champion Black-owned businesses and their products.
Morehouse College and Spelman College, two HBCUs, are also in the city, so recent business and entrepreneurship graduates eager to learn and make an impact are likely open to advancement opportunities.
4. Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina’s biggest city, is home to the Mecklenburg Investment Company, the first Black financed and occupied building in the city. When it first opened it housed numerous Black businesses, and the area around the building became known as Black Wall Street as businesses prospered.
With such a rich history of Black entrepreneurship, Charlotte is worth considering for entrepreneurs looking to establish roots and grow their businesses — 14,000 Black entrepreneurs have already done so.
Organizations like the North Carolina Black Entrepreneurship Council and Black Business Owners of Charlotte offer support, community, advice, and representation from those with similar experiences. The city is also home to BLCKTECHLT, a business that assists startups in bringing their ideas to market, helping with branding, funding, finding resources, and mentoring opportunities.
5. Richmond, Virginia
The Jackson Ward Neighborhood of Richmond, VA, is one of the first Black Wall Street communities. Richmond’s Maggie Lena Walker was the first African-American woman to charter a bank and serve as bank president.
This entrepreneurial community is still prevalent and thriving, and LendingTree has ranked it third in its list of best cities for Black entrepreneurs, with 7% of businesses in the city being Black-owned and a 79.54% startup survival rate for the state of Virginia.
Entrepreneurs in Richmond will also find support and community in the Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce, Virginia Black Business Expo, BLCK Street Conference, and the Jackson Ward Collective, which connects Black entrepreneurs with the resources they need to achieve their goals.
Black Community Support Can Help Black Entrepreneurs Thrive
One of the essential things for Black entrepreneurs is having community support from people with shared experiences. Take stock of what is most important to you as you start your new venture — all of the cities on this list have a lot to offer and might just be the birthplace of your successful business.