Bill Bynum, CEO of Hope Enterprise Corporation/Hope Credit Union, joined leaders from across the nation Wednesday to examine strategies for bolstering small business ownership among African-Americans.
Research from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta indicates that two of the most common sources of capital for startup businesses include loans from friends and families and home equity, according to the $146 million HOPE CU in Jackson, Miss.
Some African-Americans may not have wide access to those sources, Bynum said.
“Our region boasts the highest concentration of African-Americans in the nation” said Bynum. “We should build on this asset and work to close the capital and opportunity gaps that confront many existing and prospective African-American entrepreneurs.”
Sen. Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.), chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, hosted the event on coming up with strategies to grow and expand African-American-owned small businesses.
“I’m committed to helping all small business owners and potential entrepreneurs have a fair shot at making their business dreams a reality,” said Landrieu. “An entrepreneurial ecosystem is how well a community fosters a productive small business atmosphere; I look forward to meeting with leaders across the small business spectrum to find solutions to issues that hinder the African-American entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Also at the event were Marie Johns, SBA deputy administrator; Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed; Marc Morial, president/CEO of the National Urban League, and Doyle Mitchell, president/CEO of Industrial Bank and chairman of the National Bankers Association Board.