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Building an Alabama Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Focused on black business owners.

There is untapped economic opportunity in Alabama. There are more than 70,000 Black-owned businesses in the state. In 2017, Black-owned businesses in Alabama generated $2 billion in revenue. Yet, while African Americans comprise roughly 27% of the population, they make up just 11% of business owners here. Those businesses are almost all solo entrepreneurships: 88% of Black-owned businesses in Alabama do not have employees. Their fragility was tested during COVID-19 when 41% of Black-owned businesses exited the market, while only 29% of white-owned businesses failed. The global pandemic, the resulting economic downturn and calls for social and racial justice have…
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Tequila Smith is president of the Alabama Power Foundation and executive director of the Alabama Business Charitable Trust Fund. Tequila is also vice president of Alabama Power Company’s Charitable Giving where she leads the company’s philanthropic, volunteerism and community support initiatives. She earned a BA in engineering and MBA from ... Read more
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