The Data Center: Minority-Owned Businesses Grew In Metro New Orleans Post-Katrina, But Returns Remain Low

NEW ORLEANS – Post-Katrina, entrepreneurship has boomed, but some have questioned whether African Americans, Latinos and other minorities have been a part of this boom.

         The Data Center research team reports the most recent official data is from 2007, and it indicates that the number of minority-owned businesses in metro New Orleans grew post-Katrina despite post-Katrina decreases in the minority share of the population. By 2007, with 27 percent of all businesses being minority-owned, the New Orleans metro area had a larger share of minority-owned businesses relative to its minority population than the nation as a whole, they found. But, at only 2 percent of all receipts, the returns to these businesses have been extremely low.

         Today, The Data Center is releasing the fifth in a series of essays they are calling The New Orleans Index at Ten Collection, highlighting changes that occurred post-Katrina.

         “Expanding Opportunity for Minority-Owned Businesses in Metro New Orleans” is contributed by Richard L. McCline of University of Georgia, M. von Nkosi of Institute for Local Innovations, Adrine Harrell-Carter of Southern University at New Orleans and Emily Boness of University of Georgia.

         The essay provides original data on the experiences and perceptions of minority business owners post-Katrina, and highlights key policies and practices that government, incubators and entrepreneurs themselves can undertake to increase the benefits that can be realized to and from minority entrepreneurs.

         For metro New Orleans, where 47 percent (and rising) of residents are minorities, minority-owned business enterprises (MBEs) will play a significant role in driving job and wealth generation for the foreseeable future, the report finds.

         Post-Katrina, New Orleans has enjoyed a boom in entrepreneurship, with startup rates eclipsing the national rate by 64%. However, according to the report, the jury is out on whether the minority population of metro New Orleans has benefited equally from the recent startup renaissance.

          “Expanding Opportunity for Minority-Owned Businesses in Metro New Orleans” provides empirical data on how MBEs perceive the post-Katrina entrepreneurial ecosystem, including impressions on inclusiveness, supports and access and offers recommendations on policies and procedures that improve the ecosystem’s ability to support MBE development.

         The report finds minority-owned businesses offer various benefits to the communities – they are more likely than other employers to hire minorities, especially low-income African Americans and they tend to invest in their local communities and foster additional economic growth.

         But, the report also finds minority-owned businesses are underrepresented in the prosperity of post-Katrina New Orleans.

         Click here to read the report




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