Minority Entrepreneurship Thrives in the Inland Empire, says a New Report by IECE

By: Sharjeel Sohaib


Oct 3, 2022



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In recent years, minority entrepreneurs have emerged as one of the country’s most significant sources of innovation. 

According to the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Minority entrepreneurship accounts for more than half of all new venture formations in the empire. 

It has generated 4.7 million employment over the last ten years. 

We know little about minority entrepreneurship at the regional level, despite the Senate reporting a gap in total minority entrepreneurship ownership (minorities own 18% of businesses, compared to 32% of the population).

Key Takeaways:

  • Minority entrepreneurship represents more than half of all new businesses in the United States.
  • The percentage of Hispanic-owned firms has expanded over the previous five years, despite the pandemic effect.

We Covered this in our Weekly Wire Roundup

Overview of Minority Entrepreneurship

Although minority business ownership is vital in the Inland Empire, business ownership growth rates differ based on race or ethnicity. 

Despite the pandemic effect, the proportion of Hispanic-owned businesses has increased over the previous five years. 

In the post-pandemic period, the ratio of business owners in the African-American, Native-American, and Asian Indian groups fell below the national level, indicating major failure.

The Inland Empire region’s total rate of new entrepreneurs outpaces the national average. Still, it trails behind when it comes to new businesses founded by people rather than out of need.

The Voice of Minority Entrepreneurs

In the U.S., men have started more businesses than women. In entrepreneurship, the gender gap has been narrowing over time, yet it is still to some extent. Women made up the majority (56.6%) of URM respondents in IECE’s report.

Underrepresented Minorities (URM): Service Categories

Most URM entrepreneurs operate in various industries, with professional, scientific, and technical services accounting for the most significant percentage (12.8%, behind the sample’s 13.5%). 

Additionally, there were significant representations in the retail trade and health care/health care/social help sectors (at 8.9%, more important than the 8.4% in the entire sample).

What Motivates Urm of Inland Empire to Start Their Businesses?

URM entrepreneurs gave four primary reasons in the Inland Empire for starting their journey. 

They stated that they desired the following:ย 

  • Greater flexibility to manage their lifestyle and schedule. 
  • The ability to “be their boss” by starting a business 
  • To use their skills or trades.
  • To earn more money (i.e., “building genuine wealth”) and more.

Here’s an overview of what URM entrepreneurs said to most of the common questions:

How Has the Pandemic Affected the Underrepresented Minorities of the Inland Empire?

Most Inland Empire respondents to the “Voice of the Entrepreneur” survey said they could continue their businesses despite the epidemic.

Although most respondents could continue their businesses throughout the pandemic, the lockdown and “pandemic safety protocols” have been difficult for them as they tried to attract new clients and hold onto their current clientele. 

7 out of 10 people said that dealing with the coronavirus pandemic has been “tough” or “very challenging.” 

Read Here: Full Report on State of Entrepreneurship Minority.

Initiatives to Support the Underrepresented Minorities of the Inland Empire

Funding for the Hispanic, African-American, and Other Diverse Small Business Owners of the Inland Empire.

Three years ago, in 2019, with a $300,000 grant to Accion, Wells Fargo unveiled a new initiative to support diverse small companies. This initiative provided access to finance for Hispanic, African-American, and other small company owners in San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship Empowers Minority-Owned Businesses.

Startempire Wire also reported critical points from the IECE 2021 Impact report. 

IECE facilitated $70.1 million in funding to entrepreneurs through its programs and initiatives focused on increasing business success and growth through entrepreneurship education and coaching. 

The center also assisted 2,530 minority-owned businesses with business development services and provided free one-on-one coaching sessions to 4,645 firms.

Read here: The Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship 2021 Impact Report.

Funders First CDC Introduced Kitty Fund to Support Entrepreneurs.

Founders First CDC introduced the Kitty Fund in response to the lack of support for women-owned businesses.

Even though most women needed government help to maintain their businesses during the height of the epidemic, 90% of women- and minority-owned small businesses didn’t get government funding or support. 

Read here: Founders First CDC Announces 2022 Kitty Fund 50 Finalists.

Wrap Up!

Even though the Inland Empire has a very high level of minority business ownership, extra data analysis reveals that ownership growth rates vary according to race or ethnicity.

Most URM entrepreneurs work across various industries, with the majority employed in professional, scientific, and technical services. 

In 7 out of 10 cases, URM entrepreneurs described Coronavirus as a tough time. Still, Inland Empire responders to the “Voice of the Entrepreneur” survey said they could maintain their enterprises despite the outbreak by a wide margin.


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