Study: Fresno a top 10 city for entrepreneurs of color

fresno area hispanic foundation

Dora Westerlund, CEO of Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation, cuts the ribbon on the Downtown Business Hub in Fresno in this 2011 file photo.

published on February 8, 2022 – 11:45 AM
Written by Gabriel Dillard

Fresno has been identified as one of the top 10 cities for entrepreneurs of color in the US.

The study conducted by employee review platform JobSage considers metrics such as percentage of startups that are minority-owned, total number of such startups, annual sales, available support for such entrepreneurs and more.

The top 10 were presented unranked, with Fresno joining the likes of cities including Dallas-Forth Worth, San Jose and Seattle. Fresno is the smallest metro area on the list with its population of just over 1 million residents.

The percentage of startups in Fresno that are minority-owned is 38.02%, compared to 18.7% nationwide. Fresno is second only to San Jose, where 46.1% of startups are minority-owned, according to data from the US Census Bureau.

Fresno had annual sales at minority-owned startups of $678.89 million generated by 754 companies.

JobSage names Fresno organizations including the Asian Business Institute & Resource Center, Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce and Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation as proving resources, education and funding opportunities for Central Valley entrepreneurs.

Kelli Mason, chief operating officer of Texas-based JobSage, said the cities on the list are doing something right.

“From an equity perspective, being on this list shows that these cities impose less social and financial barriers to entrepreneurship. We know that entrepreneurs of color tend to come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and face more difficulties obtaining financing and other support systems necessary to grow successful businesses. Cities that show up on this list have found ways to help them overcome those challenges, usually through innovative, inclusive approaches to supporting small business.

“From an economic standpoint, strength builds upon strength. The more small businesses a city can support, the more tax revenue the city can receive, which they can then reinvest in growing their small and mid-sized business community. We’re excited to highlight these cities, especially smaller ones like Fresno, in an effort to help entrepreneurs of color find places where they can thrive,” she added.

Including Fresno, the Top 10 Cities are St. Louis, Missouri; San Antonio, Texas; Orlando, Florida; Baltimore, Maryland; San Jose, California; Washington, D.C.; Seattle, Washington; Houston, Texas and Dallas-Forth Worth, Texas.

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