Black Business Month began in 2004 through the efforts of engineering entrepreneur Frederick E. Jordan and the president and executive editor of the oldest black newspaper in America, John William Templeton. Frederick partnered with John to begin the annual event to empower and highlight black business owners who often face unique challenges as minority business owners. Frederick understood the difficulties that black business owners face due to his experience struggling to secure funding and financial backing when he began his business in 1969.
Black people, free and enslaved, have been opening small businesses in the United States since the late 1700s. After emancipation, black business ownership continued growing, leading to what was labeled the “golden age” between 1900-1930. Black-owned business districts developed and grew nationwide during this time, including Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Today, 3.12 million businesses are black-owned, which only equates to 2.3% of all businesses in the United States. By recognizing, celebrating, and patronizing black businesses, we pay homage to the legacies and contributions of black people to our economy. It also acknowledges the systemic struggles and inequities that black business owners continue to face.
This month highlights the challenges black-owned businesses face and provides a platform for businesses to grow their enterprises and build wealth for future generations through the support of consumers and proprietors.
To celebrate Black Business Month, check out and visit one of these black-owned businesses in Indianapolis: