There are a number of advantages for small minority owned businesses. Historically, minority businesses had disadvantages which could stem from access to capital to access to markets. As cultural changes have happened, minority business may actually have an advantage in some arenas.
The first and often most obvious advantage a minority business enterprise (MBE) may have is in pursuing government business. The federal government has a number of programs that are in place to favor a MBE. However, the federal government does not have strictly minority programs, they do as a practical matter assistance for small disadvantaged businesses. These are programs like the SBA 8(a) and SBA HUBZone. State and local governments may also have preference programs for minority owned businesses. These are worth checking out and seeing if a business qualifies, as state and local government may be easier to beginning selling to than to the federal agencies.
Another advantage that a minority owned business may have is getting sales from large corporations. The Fortune 500 have been making greater efforts to do business with small, local, and minority businesses. The business buzzword that flies around in these circles is diversity. Large businesses see the benefits of purchasing from a diverse vendor base. They also recognize that there are advantages from purchasing locally for their goods and services. To achieve this diversity they send their buyers and purchasers to minority events to avail themselves to small businesses. So, this provides a nice advantage for a minority business to have a name and face to assist inside the company.
The last major advantage minority small businesses enjoy is that they have a built-in market with other minority small businesses. It is just good karma for a MBE to do business with other MBE’s. Even if another business is a business to consumer type of enterprise, minority owners should still do business with them for their consumer needs. It also is good mojo to speak well of and help promote other minority enterprises. After all, when one is wanting people to work with them because they are a minority, they should be seeking to do business with minority businesses also. What comes around, goes around.
Things have been changing for minority enterprises and will continue. The future should look bright as people begin to realize that minority markets are huge. Part of getting to those markets is doing business with minority businesses. Meanwhile, MBE’s should enjoy its advantages in doing business with governments, the Fortune 500, and other MBE’s.