According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the United States is home to about 2.5 million Black-owned businesses. Black Americans command $1.3 trillion in annual buying power. However, lack of access to capital and the need for a strong, supportive business network have created a gap in investment and profits, particularly in Silicon Valley. A report by Rate My Investor revealed that between 2013 and 2017, 77% of venture-backed founders were white, whereas only 1% of venture-backed founders were black. In this pivotal period of systemic change, how do we, the Black and non-Black community, intentionally patronage and support Black businesses so that they can thrive?
Hugh Molotsi is the founder and CEO of Ujama, a mobile platform where parents team up to share rides, playdates, and babysitting. Hugh also advises and invests in startups and is the co-author of The Intrapreneur’s Journey, a book on how to develop a culture of innovation at large companies. In 2015, Hugh concluded a 22-year career at Intuit where his last position was Engineering Fellow and Vice President of Innovation. During his Intuit tenure, Hugh worked on QuickBooks and several other small business offerings. Hugh has been a serial innovator and helped launch several new businesses at Intuit including Intuit Payments.