Baltimore – When entrepreneur and leading expert on Black wealth, Bob Wallace released his latest book, Let God Be God: Using God’s Disruptive Power to Change Your Life and the World, it was confirmation that people can use the direst of situations to change their circumstances. During the Covid-19 pandemic, many individuals, working in a variety of sectors, experienced a partial or total loss of income. As a result, the United States experienced a 24.6% increase in the number of business startups formed. This growth is exceptional compared to previous years.
Data is now being released that shows a rapid and substantial increase in African Americans starting new businesses. “Even outside of the pandemic environment, traditionally there has been a lack of opportunity for people of color in the workforce, and as a result, some start businesses out of financial necessity, but also because they realize they need to create opportunities for themselves. And unfortunately, many experience discrimination when attempting to access capital for these businesses,” says Wallace.
Robert Fairlie, an economist at the University of California at Santa Cruz, indicates that from the first quarter of 2020 to the third quarter of 2021, there was a 33 percent increase in active Black male business owners. This indicates the greatest change among all demographic groups. Black female active business owners increased 22 percent during the same time frame.
“Generationally, many African American’s have been ‘stuck’ in a cycle of poverty. It is no secret that spirituality and Black centers of worship have traditionally been the pillar of the Black community, helping to fight for equal rights, opportunities and strengthening of the family unit” says Wallace. In his latest book, Let God be God, Wallace discusses the societal oppression he himself experienced saying, “They told me I would never amount to anything; that I was destined to be stuck in the cycle of poverty and familial dysfunction that has trapped so many before me. What I try to convey in the book is that it does not matter where you start but where you end! When we Let God be God, we give permission to the universe to unleash the power of possibilities and unshackled potential that ultimately obliterates all vestiges of sexism, ageism, classism, racism, and colorism.”
For its part, the current administration is working to tackle long standing inequities in the federal contracting system. In 2021, the Biden-Harris Administration announced a plan to increase the share of federal procurement funds for socially disadvantaged businesses by 50% by 2025. This is expected to translate to an additional $100 billion over five years. But, even with the explosive growth in business start-ups, there is more work to be done to ensure equitable and consistent opportunities for business education and access to substantial capital for entrepreneurs of color.
ABOUT ROBERT L. WALLACE
Robert L. Wallace is an internationally known entrepreneur, author, business consultant, and keynote speaker. Growing up in the housing projects of Baltimore City amidst poverty and racial segregation, Bob overcame social and economic obstacles through his own rags-to-riches story to become an Ivy League graduate and successful serial entrepreneur. Bob has leveraged his experience to establish three companies: Bithgroup Technologies Inc., a cybersecurity and IT services provider; Bithenergy, Inc., a renewable energy and consulting company; and Robert Wallace Media which includes RobertWallace.com and EntreTeach Learning Systems, LLC.
For more than 40 years, Bob has been studying and conducting research on the characteristics and success modeling of notable entrepreneurs. He has authored 8 books and has studied and written extensively on the challenges of becoming an entrepreneur, particularly for people of color and women. His areas of expertise include leadership, wealth creation methodologies, urban economic development strategies, strategic partnerships, and business spirituality. Bob addresses the enormous business challenges faced by women, people of color, and entrepreneurs of all stripes from both domestic and global emerging markets.