3 Years After George Floyd, Has Anything Changed for Black Founders?
The summer of 2020 was rife with promise–and promises. After George Floyd’s murder in May of that year sparked a nationwide conversation about systemic racism, countless companies, financial firms, and corporations made commitments. They’d invest more in Black-owned businesses. They’d create more accessible pipelines for Black entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into fast-growing companies. They’d diversify their supply chains and their retail shelves. They’d pour resources into diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
For many Black founders, these promises felt dubious, if not downright empty. Still, this was a moment when opportunities–however briefly–abounded. And entrepreneurs know how to make the most of an opportunity.
Some members of the Black community took matters into their own hands; there was no time to wait to dismantle a 400-year-old system that inhibited their success with endless hurdles. They drove large retailers to commit to buying 15 percent or more of their stock from Black-owned businesses, started their own accelerators for BIPOC founders, and accumulated wealth to invest in the still drastically underfunded Black entrepreneurial community.
Three years later, this much we know: According to data from management consulting giant McKinsey, U.S. companies have pledged upwards of $340 billion to “fight racial injustice” since May 2020. But how exactly have all those dollars translated into real, tangible progress? Inc. spoke with Black founders across the U.S. to hear firsthand about what they’ve seen since the murder of George Floyd–and to learn what, in their view, needs to come next. –As Told to Rebecca Deczynski and Ali Donaldson
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