The great thing about math and science is that they don’t rely on opinions. Their outcomes and assertions are based on numbers and well-documented processes. At Operation HOPE, we work to strengthen African American communities through entrepreneurship. Part of that work involves providing meaningful research and data to guide our programming, help us establish outcomes, and transform anecdotal evidence into quantifiable facts. But most importantly, this data gives voice to individuals, populations and communities who are so often left out of the conversation. 

This month, HOPE and SurveyMonkey released the findings of the inaugural HOPE Minority Small Business Index survey which examines the sentiments and attitudes of aspiring and established Black business owners. Our inaugural survey, the first of its kind, demonstrates a high level of resiliency on the part of African American business owners. We learn that despite the significant challenges they face:

  1. Black business owners remain more optimistic than all other demographics.
  2. Those enrolled in HOPE’s 1 Million Black Businesses (1MBB) program, powered by HOPE and Shopify, indicated higher optimism than Black business owners as a whole, which validates the importance of coaching in the long-term success of new and existing businesses.
  3. Black business owners embrace the new era of technology and want to be a part of its growth and development. There appears to be significant buy-in to the thought that tech is the way of the future. With it, African American business owners believe that they can go further faster. But there is ample room for training and adoption in this area.

Here’s what all of this means. African American business owners, especially those who have signed up for 1MBB are mentally and emotionally ready to endeavor in small business ownership TODAY. Despite the obvious obstacles they face, like access to capital, they are ready to be met with the proper tools, training, and resources to reach the level of success that they believe they’re capable of.

HOPE through 1MBB is meeting that need day after day, but more support and resources are needed. Feel free to read the findings of the report here and check out a portion of my segment on CNBC’s Squawk Box with SurveyMonkey CEO, Zander Lurie, as we discuss what it means and why it matters. 

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