Seventy-three percent of established Black and Latino businesses experienced noticeable revenue growth in 2021. But many were concerned that the increases were just temporary, according to new research from Ernst & Young’s (EY). To help minority business owners find mentors, hone skill sets that allow more permanent staying power, and be seen as influential leaders instead of just current trends, EY has launched a program it hopes will level the playing field.
The Entrepreneurs Access Network program (EAN) is an executive networking group for Black and Latino-owned businesses. With 96 new Black and Latino members in the latest cohort, the program will benefit what EY Entrepreneurs Access Network Program Director Nit Reeder calls “underestimated and under-supported” businesses that have historically experienced “systemic barriers.” Only 8% of Black entrepreneurs have inherited wealth or networks, compared to 26 % of non-minority business owners, according to EY, so fostering opportunities for these connections are critically important.
Minority-owned businesses are powerhouses in the American economy, EAN claims, making up $700 billion in annual revenue and supplying 4.7 million jobs. EAN analysts analyze these companies, which include industries tech, retail, manufacturing, and more, and determine which high-potential earners have the most promise. Then, entrepreneurs and owners are contacted and enrolled in the program, which is free for all participants. The network provides one-on-one mentoring with an EY advisor, along with resources around scaling businesses using upskilling, digital literacy, and professional networks. Participants receive a customized roadmap that is catered to their company’s particular needs and assessments that check in on how business is improving.