Business revenue: Inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems ensure people of color and women can grow successful businesses.

Insights & Analyses

  • Overall, revenue growth for business owners in the Five-County Bay Area dropped by 2 percent between 2007 and 2012.
  • Although average revenue per firm was $477,000 in the Five-County Bay Area in 2012, there were large disparities across race/ethnicity and gender.
  • San Mateo County had the highest average revenue per firm ($572,000) while Marin County had the lowest ($331,000).
  • The information industry experienced the largest revenue growth by far, increasing by 195 percent in the Five-County Bay Area between 2007 and 2012.

Drivers of Inequity

People of color are less likely than Whites to have access to capital and contracts to start and grow a business, due in part to historical policies such as redlining that denied home loans and wealth-building opportunities to people of color. Today, business loan denial rates for firms owned by people of color are three times higher than for firms owned by Whites. Business owners of color also pay higher interest rates and receive lower loan and equity investments. Although creditworthiness is a factor in loan denials, this metric does not reflect how reliably individuals pay their rent. Underrepresented groups also often face barriers accessing important networks and training programs.


Strengthen places: Policies to expand and sustain business revenue for all residents

Strategy in Action

Pacific Community Ventures expands entrepreneurship opportunities for women and people of color. Pacific Community Ventures (PCV) is an Oakland-based community development financial institution (CDFI) that envisions a world of thriving communities where everyone has a fair stake. Their mission is to invest in small businesses, create good jobs for working people, and make markets work for social good. They achieve their mission through a combination of fair lending, free mentorship, skilled volunteerism, social impact measurement and management tools, and field-building research. In 2019 alone, PCV supported 770 small businesses. Those businesses had 12 percent median revenue growth, 11 percent job growth (surpassing national and state rates of 1.2 percent), with 4,192 jobs created and retained. 80 percent of those businesses were located in or hiring from, low-income communities, and 80 percent are owned by women and/or people of color. Learn more


Photo: PCV Advising alumni Kasa Indian Eatery - Pacific Community Ventures

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