2015’s Best Cities for Black Entrepreneurs

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE

With the economy steadily improving, now is as good a time as any to make the leap into entrepreneurship. And while we’ve already looked at the best places for women entrepreneurs, we wanted to find the best, most supportive environments for another group that’s growing yet often under-represented when it comes to business ownership: African Americans.

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To find out just where black entrepreneurs and business owners are thriving, we evaluated cities on a number of metrics from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. We considered each city’s economic health, the strength of its job market, its educational values and its concentration of African American-owned businesses:

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Read on to see which cities made the list, view our full set of data, and get insights from African American entrepreneurs and other business experts:

Voices for Black Entrepreneurs

Gail Warrior
Terra Winston
Shadé Y. Adu
Dawn Reshen Doty
Tiffany Sartor
Mike Lawless
Catherine de Neuve
Philip Blackett
Meika Mashack
Ileaa Swift
Terez Baskin
Sid Simone
Hope Oriabure-King
Vernetta Freeney
Gail Warrior

Gail Warrior

Dallas-based entrepreneur, speaker, philanthropist and mother

What is your best advice for African American entrepreneurs just starting out in the business world?

To venture out into the unknown as an entrepreneur takes great courage. To truly achieve success in anything you do, you have to be willing to take risks and fail along the way. This takes great courage, as no one likes to fail. But only in taking risks can you ever really achieve something great, or even something beyond what you ever thought possible. You see the best athletes embrace this notion time and again. It happens far too little in business. But I have learned the key is knowing how to bounce back from failure and mistakes and turn them into successes. In a lot cases, I see fear keep people from even trying – so my biggest advice is: JUST START! Half the battle is taking the chance to get going in the first place.

When I started The Warrior Group, I didn’t have a business plan, staff, an office and or any money… but I had an idea. I had passion for that idea, and I had the courage to turn that into reality. And I didn’t let the fact that I was a minority woman in a male-dominated industry deter me. I never went into a room as if I didn’t earn my right to be there. I worked hard, learned everything I could along the way, picked up after my mistakes and acknowledged those who helped and worked with me along the way. As long as I was able to do that, I could stand proud in any room, knowing I had much to contribute. You must also write down your vision. It may change five times over the next couple of years as you evolve, but if you write it down, you can better voice and communicate that vision to others. Also, make sure you take care of yourself both physically and mentally. Starting a business takes tremendous physical and mental exertion, and you have to be willing to put in the long days for a while. So it is important that you look after your health: exercise, eat right, get some down time and unwind. Only then can you have the energy to be in it for the long haul.

Terra Winston

Terra Winston

Principal, inTerract Consulting

What is your best advice for African American entrepreneurs just starting out in the business world?

There is no one right way to be an entrepreneur. In school, every problem had an answer, and usually only one. Many young entrepreneurs spend hours scouring blogs, reading books, and networking with business owners in the hopes of discovering THE answer that will guarantee success. Sadly, there’s no single winning formula. Instead, you’ll be inundated with advice, and some of it may even be contradictory. Take all input with a grain of salt, and build a business starting with your strengths. Don’t like to make cold calls? Then don’t – find a way to make sales that fits your personality. Are you a gifted writer? Make that an integral part of your work. You already have everything that you need to find success on your own terms. Being yourself is the ONLY answer.

Shadé Y. Adu

Shadé Y. Adu

Personal brand strategist, empowerment and diversity speaker

What is your best advice for African American entrepreneurs just starting out in the business world?

African American business owners deserve to thrive in the marketplace. Thriving requires access to capital, strategic partnerships, risk taking, and sound mentorship. Novice African American business owners must be strategic about entrepreneurship and develop relationships with current successful entrepreneurs in order to ensure greater long-term success. In the business, relationships matter, and this partnership could be the difference between business stagnation and marketplace opportunity and revenue generation.

In addition, African American business owners must also pay greater attention to trends in technology and social media. They should invest at least 10% of their marketing budget on online space. Savvy consumers are looking for Black-owned businesses to support, and they are searching for these institutions online. If a small business does not have an online presence, they are potential leaving money behind and stunting their business growth. Expanding business efforts online will allow African American business owners to be introduced to new markets.

Dawn Reshen Doty

Dawn Reshen Doty

President of Benay Enterprises

What is your best advice for African American entrepreneurs just starting out in the business world?

My best advice to anyone starting out in the business world is to think of yourself as a unique individual first before demarking yourself by your color or gender. Your own talents, qualities and qualifications are what is going to define you, not the color of your skin. If you’re positive, eager to learn, and forthright, people will want to hire you as well as work with you. Don’t let color or race or religion be a chip on your shoulder – just be yourself. It’s crucial to focus on your strength and experience as opposed to limiting yourself by concerns over race. If someone sees you first as a person of color, and then as (insert your name here), that’s their own biases and prejudices, and you’re probably not going to overcome them at the interview or first meeting. Rather, show who you are and what you’re capable of, then let them judge you based on that. Once you’re in the door of any job or business opportunity, you will then have a chance to show that talent trumps color, race or any other differences, every time.

Tiffany Sartor

Tiffany Sartor

Owner and founder, Posh Peyton

What is your best advice for African American entrepreneurs just starting out in the business world?

My advice for African American entrepreneurs just starting out in the business world is to be consistent! There will be times when business is great and you’re hitting your sales goals completely out of the ball park, and then there will be other times when business will seem very dismal and you can’t seem to get one person to buy your product or utilize your service. You have to ultimately stayed focused on the end goal and the overall bigger picture. Don’t allow setbacks to derail you from waking up everyday and giving it your all. Most of all don’t let fear and lack of knowledge steer you in a direction of running away from your dreams. Being consistent is by far the best advice ever given to me and the best lesson ever learned!

Mike Lawless

Mike Lawless

Clinical professor of management and head of the entrepreneurship program at the University of San Diego

What is your best advice for African American entrepreneurs just starting out in the business world?

Particularly for African American entrepreneurs, you must proactively manage your network. With comparatively few African Americans in entrepreneurship and even fewer African American investors, connecting with those who are is important to reputation building and access to resources. Self-employment among African Americans is on the rise, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are also tax incentives for using minority-owned businesses, which means another piece of advice for African American entrepreneurs is making sure you—or your accountant—understand those credits.

Catherine De Neuve

Catherine De Neuve

Owner, Yu Magazine

What is your best advice for African American entrepreneurs just starting out in the business world?

My best advice to African American entrepreneur is to carve a niche market for their services or product. The niche market will ensure that the business has a dedicated clientele.The most successfull busineses have carved out a designated path of individuality that has cheered them through the echeleon of success.

Phillip Blackett

Philip Blackett

Founder and CEO, Magnetic Interviewing

What is your best advice for African American entrepreneurs just starting out in the business world?

Tip #1: Focus on how will your business best bring in customer revenue. This seems elementary. However, with so much emphasis and attention given to venture-backed startups, it's easy for African American entrepreneurs to prioritize raising money for their businesses among investors before establishing a revenue roadmap on how customer revenue (not external funding) will sustain and grow their business going forward. Sales and marketing will eventually become more important than fundraising.

Tip #2: Choose wisely among your founding team - it's OK to go solo if necessary. Another belief among startups is that you must quickly find a co-founder (or more) once you have the idea of what your business will be. Co-founders are great, as long as they complement your weaknesses or bring value to the table that you could not have done otherwise. However, don't grab a co-founder just so you can appear legitimate in front of an investor or qualify for acceptance into a startup accelerator. You should look at co-founders as very similar to a significant other or spouse. You will work together through both good and bad times. Is this the person(s) that you trust with your ideas (and livelihood)?

Tip #3: Learn from other businesses - outside of your own industry and competition. It's easy to "spy" on your competition to see how you can gain the upper hand on them to appear superior to your customers, so you make more money overall. However, there's much value to keeping your eyes and ears open to how other businesses conduct themselves regarding customer experience, marketing, and operations, to learn of any best practices that can be applicable to your business as well. Get in the habit of reading such magazines as Entrepreneur or Inc., or watching TV shows like Shark Tank and The Profit to learn from other business owners.

Meika Mashack

Meika Mashack

Human behavior specialist and life coach at Coaching Without Walls, Global Women’s Summit Outstanding Leadership Award Recipient, 2014

What is your best advice for African American entrepreneurs just starting out in the business world?

Although the number of African American business owners/entrepreneurs is growing, in the grand scheme it isn't nearly enough. Below are a few tips for African American entrepreneurs, who are in the beginning stages of this journey:

Kill the (internal) noise. The most difficult part of navigating these entrepreneurial waters is your belief in yourself! Because people of color historically did not have many opportunities to be business owners, one may not have witnessed what it takes to be a successful in this way. In addition, you may receive a lot of resistance for not simply getting a "good job." As a result, doubt will rear its ugly head. Remind yourself often, you can achieve success. Besides, there is definitely enough room for you to have a slice of the American entrepreneurial pie!

Smoke and mirrors effect. You are who you are perceived to be! In this day and time and with social media, how you are perceived makes all of the difference. Be very mindful of how you portray yourself, everywhere! One impulsive error or comment could set your business back light years. On a positive note, the same could be said for developing a loyal, lucrative following.

Preaching to your choir. Your network is your sanctuary. Staying connected to other entrepreneurs and small business owners is key. They will keep you from feeling that you are alone in your efforts. You may not have family members or friends that can really relate to the challenges you face, but others in the community will. Attend conferences, personal development seminars, and commit to becoming a life-long learner.

Ileaa Swift

Ileaa Swift

Certified travel agent, owner of Swift Travel Deals

What is your best advice for African American entrepreneurs just starting out in the business world?

When you first start your business, it is imperative that you properly brand your company. Obtain trademarks and copyrights for your materials, register your business with your state as an LLC, Corporation, etc. and have a business plan in place that lists your goals for the next 5 years. Having a business plan also helps you become attractive to potential investors. and to banks in case you need a business loan. Hire as much help as you can, including interns, because the stress of running a business can be overwhelming and it is imperative to help have in areas such as marketing, advertising and accounting.

If your business is in a saturated market, you have to figure out ways to set your company apart from your competition. The key is to find your niche area and place most of your focus on how to make it awesome. Once you figure out your passion, turn it into a business - figure out your specialities or what you will specialize in to make your company different from your competition. You have to figure out who your audience is and why and how you will target them. Know your audience - become an expert in your industry or product. Find a unique niche that sets you apart from other people who are in your industry. Obtain credentials and licenses or certifications that will give you extra credibility in your specialty. Obtain partnerships with established companies that will benefit from use of your product or services. Take every opportunity to learn new things, study and stay focused.

Terez Baskin

Terez Baskin

International author, speaker, social media expert, and marketing strategist

What is your best advice for African American entrepreneurs just starting out in the business world?

1. Find a mentor. You can learn from other's mistakes and build on their success. You don't have to make all the mistakes yourself - or with your own money, even.

2. Find a tribe. This isn't new, but find people who are creative, smart, and encouraging. A Debbie Downer can make you doubt your work and your worth. Surround yourself with other people with an entrepreneurial spirit. The one friend who believes in your ideas to the point of saying "how can I help?" "Can I beta test or review your copy?" These are the people in your tribe that you need when you idea is in infancy. Not people who will say "Why don't you just find a job?" Don't let others kill your dream before you've had a chance to breath life into it.

3. Don't wait for perfect. You may not have all the key pieces into place. I recently started my 3 business. I bought the URL and had the site live within 24 hours, ready to capture emails and offer a free worksheet while I continue to build out the bones. Don't sit on an idea, because what if someone else comes along and does it? And you will never be ready - you need to move forward and perfect along the way, but don't wait until it is perfect.

Sid Simone

Sid Simone

President of Sid Simone Solutions

What is your best advice for African American entrepreneurs just starting out in the business world?

Utilize free trials- software, recruitment tools, payroll processing, credit card processing.

Research at least 10 companies, so you can negotiate the best price for the service that you want to use.

Encourage diversity of all categories within your company.

Work with other professional African-American businesses.

Have a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy).

One of the major mistakes that African American business owners and professionals make is not supporting other African American businesses. We must remember that other cultures, especially immigrants from other countries, support one another unconditionally.

Another major mistake that our community makes is living beyond our means. I do not drive an expensive vehicle, wear expensive clothing, or waste money on a high-profile residence to impress. Often times, the most successful person in the room is the least flashy in the room.

Hope Oriabure-King

Hope Oriabure-King

Mother, entrepreneur and innovator

What is your best advice for African American entrepreneurs just starting out in the business world?

I advise against letting family and friends be your first employees. When you start a business, if you have unrelated employees, it automatically adds credibility. If people see your family working for you, they assume you don't have enough money or opportunity to afford "real" employees. From an operational standpoint, family and friends do not always take direction without question. They are under the impression because they "know you" or are "helping you" that their opinion holds weight and is okay to be voiced.

I own an event childcare service and took my sister along on one event where I was short an employee - it was a disaster. She did not want to wear her staff shirt, take direction, and openly complained within the hearing of my employees about the pay schedule. Her behavior made it difficult for me to supervise my event and caused animosity between my sister and I. Family and friends can be your greatest cheerleaders, but they should remain on the sidelines. Also hire a diverse workforce. It was always so interesting to see people approach one of my white employees and ask if she was the owner. She would always kindly point in my direction and explain who I was and I waited to do my Ms. America wave.

Vernetta Freeney

Vernetta Freeney

Educator, speaker, founder of Women Are Gamechangers and organizer of the Houston African American Bloggers Group

What is your best advice for African American entrepreneurs just starting out in the business world?

My advice to anyone who is ready to become an entrepreneur is to first of all be ready. You must be emotionally and mentally prepared for the shift you will experience. You need to understand that even though people say it doesn't cost much to start a business, that is false. They are not taking into account registering your business with your state, which has a fee. Meet with a CPA to help you understand how to financially set up your business. Without cashflow, you will have a hard time managing the little things that come up unexpectedly. While it's great that people want to start a business, and so much is available to support them, often the one key piece of advice missing is how important it is to understand your business finances, cashflow and pricing of your products or services before your launch. Test out the market to get some market research to help give you better estimates, so in the end you'll have a good grasp on keeping consistent cashflow coming in your business.

The Top 10 Places for Black Entrepreneurs

10. New York-New Jersey-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

GoodCall score: 279.30
Networking rank: 53
Economic health rank: 24
African American-owned businesses per 1,000 residents: 11.65
YoY change in GDP: 1.01%
African American educational attainment: 22.07%
Unemployment rate: 29.60%

9. Durham-Chapel Hill, NC

GoodCall score: 286.70
Networking rank: 17 47
Economic health rank: 98 159
African American-owned businesses per 1,000 residents: 13.14
YoY change in GDP: 1.42%
African American educational attainment: 26.98%
Unemployment rate: 8.60%

8. Oklahoma City, OK

GoodCall score: 287.10
Networking rank: 165
Economic health rank: 15
African American-owned businesses per 1,000 residents: 3.98
YoY change in GDP: 2.78%
African American educational attainment: 20.03%
Unemployment rate: 6.20%

7. Manhattan, KS

GoodCall score: 289.25
Networking rank: 192
Economic health rank: 43
African American-owned businesses per 1,000 residents: 2.90
YoY change in GDP: 1.82%
African American educational attainment: 34.80%
Unemployment rate: 4.30%

6. Austin-Round Rock, TX

GoodCall score: 289.50
Networking rank: 190
Economic health rank: 11
African American-owned businesses per 1,000 residents: 3.06
YoY change in GDP: 5.16%
African American educational attainment: 24.17%
Unemployment rate: 7.50%

5. Hood River, OR

GoodCall score: 292.25
Networking rank: 251
Economic health rank: 6
African American-owned businesses per 1,000 residents: 1.70
YoY change in GDP: 3.57%
African American educational attainment: 39.06%
Unemployment rate: 5.30%

4. Baton Rogue, LA

GoodCall score: 292.50
Networking rank: 19
Economic health rank: 77
African American-owned businesses per 1,000 residents: 17.79
YoY change in GDP: 1.92%
African American educational attainment: 18.39%
Unemployment rate: 7.80%

3. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

GoodCall score: 309.00
Networking rank: 86
Economic health rank: 24
African American-owned businesses per 1,000 residents: 8.10
YoY change in GDP: 5.16%
African American educational attainment: 23.40%
Unemployment rate: 8.10%

2. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugarland, TX

GoodCall score: 313.20
Networking rank: 73
Economic health rank: 24
African American-owned businesses per 1,000 residents: 9.47
YoY change in GDP: 5.16%
African American educational attainment: 23.41%
Unemployment rate: 8.10%

1. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD

GoodCall score: 323.65
Networking rank: 72
Economic health rank: 72
African American-owned businesses per 1,000 residents: 15.82
YoY change in GDP: 1.56%
African American educational attainment: 30.62%
Unemployment rate: 7.00%

 

The Data

Rank Metro/Micro Statistical Area GoodCall Score Population Networking Rank Economic Health Rank (Unemployment + % Change in GDP) African American-Owned Businesses per 1,000 Residents % Change in GDP, YoY African American Educational Attainment Unemployment Rate
1 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD 323.65 6,033,737 26 72 15.82 1.56% 30.62% 7.00%
2 Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 313.20 6,490,180 73 24 9.47 5.16% 23.41% 8.10%
3 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 309.00 6,954,330 86 24 8.10 5.16% 23.40% 8.10%
4 Baton Rouge, LA 292.50 825,478 19 77 17.79 1.92% 18.39% 7.80%
5 Hood River, OR 292.25 22,885 251 6 1.70 3.57% 39.06% 5.30%
6 Austin-Round Rock, TX 289.50 1,943,299 190 11 3.06 5.16% 24.17% 7.50%
7 Manhattan, KS 289.25 98,091 192 43 2.90 1.82% 34.80% 4.30%
8 Oklahoma City, OK 287.10 1,336,767 165 15 3.98 2.78% 20.03% 6.20%
9 Durham-Chapel Hill, NC 286.70 542,710 47 159 13.14 1.42% 26.98% 8.60%
10 New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 279.30 20,092,883 53 97 11.65 2.53% 22.07% 9.60%
11 Raleigh, NC 278.90 1,242,974 75 159 9.39 1.42% 27.21% 8.60%
12 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 278.35 5,614,323 11 196 22.66 2.32% 26.85% 11.50%
13 San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX 277.30 2,328,652 213 18 2.50 5.16% 24.09% 7.90%
14 Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD 272.60 2,785,874 40 209 14.09 0.83% 22.16% 8.40%
15 Ann Arbor, MI 268.45 356,874 105 126 6.88 1.88% 24.80% 9.10%
16 Columbus, OH 268.15 1,994,536 114 85 6.37 2.08% 19.80% 8.20%
17 Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO 267.30 2,754,258 215 35 2.44 4.66% 23.94% 8.30%
18 Savannah, GA 264.70 372,708 21 116 16.75 2.32% 17.69% 9.80%
19 Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN 264.35 1,792,649 125 121 5.77 1.69% 23.41% 8.40%
20 Lawrence, KS 263.40 116,585 239 61 1.96 1.82% 30.19% 6.90%
21 Tulsa, OK 263.20 969,224 181 24 3.34 2.78% 17.89% 7.30%
22 Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH 261.60 4,732,161 179 66 3.42 2.30% 23.38% 8.30%
23 Grand Forks, ND-MN 260.50 101,842 372 2 0.29 6.26% 32.63% 5.00%
24 Tallahassee, FL 259.50 375,751 50 162 12.73 2.72% 21.83% 11.60%
25 Boulder, CO 259.45 313,333 334 10 0.69 4.66% 41.26% 7.30%
26 San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA 259.40 4,594,060 168 64 3.88 2.82% 23.39% 9.40%
27 Ithaca, NY 258.20 104,691 319 29 0.84 2.53% 33.33% 5.90%
28 Montgomery, AL 257.75 373,141 8 281 24.78 0.69% 18.94% 9.20%
29 Columbia, SC 257.20 800,495 54 181 11.56 2.20% 20.73% 10.50%
30 Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR 255.00 729,135 89 188 7.98 0.78% 19.05% 8.00%
31 Tyler, TX 254.70 218,842 104 24 6.95 5.16% 13.50% 8.10%
32 Champaign-Urbana, IL 254.35 237,252 138 108 5.09 1.24% 18.76% 7.40%
33 Fargo, ND-MN 252.90 228,291 371 1 0.30 6.26% 24.00% 4.40%
34 Marshall, TX 251.70 67,336 90 54 7.97 5.16% 15.70% 9.60%
35 Opelousas, LA 251.55 83,709 29 49 15.65 1.92% 10.31% 6.70%
36 El Paso, TX 251.25 836,698 259 39 1.63 5.16% 28.54% 9.00%
37 Longview, TX 250.30 217,481 109 8 6.70 5.16% 11.17% 7.20%
38 Provo-Orem, UT 250.30 571,460 363 14 0.36 3.11% 42.01% 7.20%
39 Monroe, LA 249.45 178,864 34 83 14.61 1.92% 12.35% 8.00%
40 New Orleans-Metairie, LA 248.00 1,251,849 38 122 14.46 1.92% 15.01% 9.20%
41 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA 246.95 13,262,220 148 115 4.83 2.82% 23.83% 10.90%
42 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 246.80 3,671,478 217 44 2.40 3.03% 20.20% 8.70%
43 College Station-Bryan, TX 246.60 242,905 163 31 4.10 5.16% 15.34% 8.30%
44 Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 246.40 3,495,176 184 101 3.25 1.37% 19.81% 7.40%
45 Shreveport-Bossier City, LA 245.25 445,142 64 83 10.58 1.92% 13.34% 8.00%
46 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL 245.15 5,929,819 20 180 16.80 2.72% 17.36% 11.90%
47 Jackson, MS 245.10 577,564 16 331 20.42 -1.18% 19.51% 9.50%
48 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC 244.85 1,716,624 63 275 10.60 0.02% 18.75% 8.40%
49 Key West, FL 244.80 77,136 119 37 6.12 2.72% 13.02% 7.50%
50 Logan, UT-ID 243.75 131,364 376 12 0.24 3.11% 33.03% 7.10%
51 Richmond, VA 243.35 1,260,029 57 289 11.19 0.02% 18.72% 8.60%
52 Midland, TX 242.40 161,290 210 3 2.54 5.16% 13.01% 4.40%
53 Huntsville, AL 241.95 441,086 88 317 7.99 0.69% 26.42% 9.90%
54 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 240.10 2,321,418 92 154 7.92 2.72% 19.15% 11.50%
55 Greensboro-High Point, NC 239.60 746,593 55 286 11.31 1.42% 20.56% 10.90%
56 Charleston, WV 239.35 222,878 261 16 1.59 5.12% 17.86% 7.70%
57 Colorado Springs, CO 239.25 686,908 232 58 2.12 4.66% 22.33% 9.50%
58 Corpus Christi, TX 238.65 448,108 247 21 1.78 5.16% 17.64% 8.00%
59 Cheyenne, WY 237.75 96,389 360 4 0.38 5.14% 19.90% 5.70%
60 Billings, MT 236.90 166,885 359 52 0.40 1.75% 41.13% 5.30%
61 Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC 236.45 203,022 95 104 7.82 2.20% 15.40% 9.20%
62 Clarksburg, WV 236.35 94,221 365 16 0.35 5.12% 26.48% 7.70%
63 Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY 235.15 880,167 218 39 2.39 2.53% 16.80% 7.70%
64 Vicksburg, MS 234.65 57,063 42 306 13.74 -1.18% 17.44% 8.70%
65 Fort Collins, CO 234.60 324,122 355 31 0.42 4.66% 28.39% 8.10%
66 Madison, WI 234.30 633,787 260 93 1.63 1.01% 21.38% 5.70%
67 Warner Robins, GA 234.25 187,516 93 182 7.88 2.32% 18.69% 11.20%
68 Odessa, TX 234.15 153,904 269 5 1.51 5.16% 14.86% 6.20%
69 Nacogdoches, TX 234.00 65,301 122 24 5.99 5.16% 11.18% 8.10%
70 San Diego-Carlsbad, CA 233.25 3,263,431 204 88 2.60 2.82% 21.72% 10.00%
71 Birmingham-Hoover, AL 233.20 1,143,772 48 312 12.99 0.69% 18.51% 9.80%
72 Jacksonville, FL 232.65 1,419,127 87 136 8.07 2.72% 17.20% 11.00%
73 Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC 232.55 583,632 35 172 14.55 2.32% 14.90% 10.90%
74 Orangeburg, SC 232.40 90,090 7 286 24.81 2.20% 18.13% 14.30%
75 Gainesville, FL 232.35 273,377 121 71 5.99 2.72% 14.50% 9.00%
76 Manchester-Nashua, NH 231.85 405,184 317 45 0.87 2.29% 22.93% 7.40%
76 Ogden-Clearfield, UT 231.85 632,293 356 9 0.42 3.11% 19.75% 6.30%
78 Dover, DE 231.70 171,987 107 247 6.78 1.16% 19.56% 9.80%
79 Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 231.60 9,554,598 62 303 10.63 1.24% 19.77% 11.00%
80 Kansas City, MO-KS 230.55 2,071,133 156 164 4.41 0.91% 17.90% 7.80%
80 Springfield, IL 230.55 211,567 145 136 4.84 1.24% 17.02% 8.10%
82 Muskogee, OK 230.05 69,966 180 60 3.34 2.78% 16.29% 8.90%
83 Brookhaven, MS 229.55 34,775 32 241 15.18 -1.18% 13.31% 7.60%
84 Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA 229.35 846,178 288 79 1.23 2.82% 31.31% 9.60%
85 Juneau, AK 229.25 32,406 300 182 1.05 -1.33% 72.89% 5.30%
86 Hinesville, GA 228.45 82,311 22 258 16.60 2.32% 17.45% 14.00%
86 Killeen-Temple, TX 228.45 424,858 169 50 3.84 5.16% 15.45% 9.50%
88 Worcester, MA-CT 228.05 930,473 255 100 1.67 2.30% 24.96% 9.40%
88 Iowa City, IA 228.05 164,357 305 134 1.00 0.42% 29.99% 4.30%
90 Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA 227.65 560,849 185 69 3.25 1.79% 14.86% 7.20%
91 Charlottesville, VA 227.40 226,968 123 162 5.88 0.02% 14.39% 5.60%
92 Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA 226.80 904,421 214 120 2.47 0.75% 18.15% 6.20%
93 Memphis, TN-MS-AR 226.45 1,343,230 13 284 21.22 1.69% 15.93% 11.50%
93 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 226.45 2,915,582 127 145 5.55 2.72% 18.47% 11.30%
95 Torrington, CT 225.90 184,993 244 234 1.82 0.62% 35.40% 8.30%
96 Kennewick-Richland, WA 225.90 274,295 346 30 0.56 3.03% 21.65% 7.80%
97 Columbus, GA-AL 225.55 314,005 9 203 24.09 2.32% 13.83% 11.70%
98 Barre, VT 224.85 58,998 332 132 0.69 0.60% 55.78% 5.80%
99 State College, PA 224.40 158,742 344 59 0.57 1.79% 23.08% 5.80%
100 Auburn-Opelika, AL 224.00 154,255 60 291 10.81 0.69% 16.55% 9.40%

 
To see our entire set of rankings, click here.

Methodology

To evaluate the best places for black entrepreneurs in 2015, we used the following metrics to evaluate more than 370 cities:

  • Networking rank: We calculated each city’s networking rank by looking at its number of African American-owned businesses per 1,000 residents, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American FactFinder 2007 Survey of Business Owners. This represents 30% of our overall score.
  • Educational attainment: We looked at educational attainment for each city, defined as the percentage of black residents who have achieved a bachelor’s degree or higher, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American FactFinder 2013 ACS 5-year estimates. This represents 30% of our overall score.
  • Unemployment rate: We also considered each city’s unemployment rate, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American FactFinder 2007 Survey of Business Owners. This represents 25% of our overall score.
  • GDP: Finally, we included each cities year-over-year change in gross domestic product from 2012 to 2013, using data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. This represents 15% of our overall score.

Paul Southerland

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Paul is a High Point University graduate with a B.S. in Business and a B.A. in Strategic Communication. GoodCall's resident numbers guy, Paul is a digital marketing expert who has been working in data analysis for more than 3 years. Paul contributes to GoodCall News with original data and reports.

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Comments(3)

  1. sharklasers says

    I question your methodology in regards to Hood River, OR. As of the 2010 census, only 0.5% of its population is African American. So is it really that great for black entrepreneurs, or are there just a few super-successful African American entrepreneurs there that give it its astronomical “networking rank”?

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