Black College Graduates Increasingly Starting Their Own Businesses

Stubbornly high unemployment rates are pushing Black graduates into entrepreneurship.

Posted: 08/31/2012 05:50 PM EDT

With jobs harder to find in the current economic conditions, African-American college graduates are going into business for themselves in growing numbers. 


Figures compiled by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that the number of self-employed African-Americans rose by nearly 6 percent between 2007 and 2009. By comparison, there was a decline of 3.4 percent in the number of white Americans who are self-employed.

The trend toward entrepreneurship among Black graduates is not a surprise. The jobless rate among African-Americans remains stubbornly high. In July, the Black unemployment rate stood at 14.1 percent, compared with an overall jobless rate of 8.3 percent. 

Many African-American graduates say that they have sought to find jobs after college, only to get one rejection letter after another. As a result, many have decided that their chances of sustaining themselves financially would be enhanced by starting their own businesses. 

Race, apparently, is a factor in the unemployment rate of college graduates as well. Figures from the Economic Policy Institute state that, while improving over the last year, the unemployment rate for Black college graduates is still nearly 11 percent, compared to 8.7 percent for white graduates.

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(Photo: Jack Hollingsworth)

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