Minority entrepreneurs hopeful about economy – study

A majority of entrepreneurs from minority groups are optimistic about both their companies and the American economy overall, results of a new survey from Biz2Credit suggest.

The survey of more than 1,500 small business owners was conducted in late March.

Roughly 60 percent expect the economy to either maintain its expansion or to improve, close to double the rate of those expecting it to decline.

When it comes to the entrepreneur’s own business things look even better. More than half (57.5 percent were very confident in their own companies, while another 19.3 percent are somewhat confident. Few (7.2 percent) did not have confidence in their operations over the coming year

“Many entrepreneurs have experienced growth in the last three years,” Biz2Credit CEO Rohit Arora said. “The economy has steadily emerged from since the Great Recession and it is a great sign that there is such a high confidence in the economy.”

Mr. Arora said that optimism is manifesting itself in some clear ways.

“Business owners are more willing to borrow money to expand their operations when they expect to see a return on their investments. These positive views of the economy reinforce a vision for growth.”

While many of those entrepreneurs feel confident enough to borrow money, that does not mean they will get their wish when they go to the bank. More than one in three (36.3 percent) fear they will not get access to the fund they need in order to grow.

The challenges are often greater for minority entrepreneurs, Mr. Arora explained.

“Minority entrepreneurs have historically faced challenges in securing capital. Fortunately, competition among lenders in the small business credit marketplace and programs designed to help minority entrepreneurs have made it easier for applicants to receive funding. The SBA has assistance programs and encourages business development in economic empowerment zones (while) CDFIs and microlenders also provide funding to minority businesses as part of their mission.”

The most popular growth strategies employed by entrepreneurs include online expansion, increased capital spending and hiring more workers.

Roughly 60 percent of the entrepreneurs identified as Hispanic, 19 percent as South Asian, 14 percent African American and 7.1 percent as East Asian.