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Economic Justice Fund
What We Believe

The Transformative Power of Small Business

The Transformative Power of Small Business

We believe that small businesses generate economic opportunity for people and communities.

Ending persistent poverty and income inequality is a complex challenge that requires a complex solution. Building new businesses, creating new jobs, and expanding access to affordable housing and high-quality education, job training, health care, and day care are all part of that solution.

But the role of small businesses is critical. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses make up 99.9 percent of all U.S. businesses and employ 47.3 percent of the workforce.01 Small businesses were responsible for 61.8 percent of the net new jobs created from 1993 to 2016,02 including 1.8 million jobs in 2016 alone.03

Small businesses play an especially important role in underserved communities. There are 11.2 million small businesses in America’s low-income communities, and they generate annual revenues totaling $1.87 trillion. Microbusinesses—businesses with fewer than five employees—produce nearly 75 percent of this amount.04

These small businesses truly are engines of opportunity. They offer local residents good jobs and a path to prosperity in places where there are few options for long-term employment. At the same time, they help revitalize the community, increasing access to much-needed goods and services, catalyzing the creation of other new businesses, and ensuring that the community’s wealth stays in the community and strengthens the local economy.

We believe that small business ownership is a powerful path to realizing the American Dream, and we are committed to supporting the creation and growth of successful small businesses in America’s low-income communities.

43%

Percentage of small businesses in the U.S. located in low-income communities05

$110K

Median annual revenue of small businesses in low-income communities05

  1. 2019 Small Business Profile, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy, 2019.
  2. Frequently Asked Questions About Small Business, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy, 2017.
  3. 2019 Small Business Profile, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy, 2019.
  4. The Big Picture – A Larger View of the Small Business Market, Association for Enterprise Opportunity.
  5. The Big Picture – A Larger View of the Small Business Market, Association for Enterprise Opportunity.