Blockchain boosts opportunities for Black tech entrepreneurs
Blockchain emerges as a key tool in empowering Black entrepreneurs, tackling the tech industry’s diversity gap.
Over the years, the tech industry has struggled with a lack of diversity, particularly in underrepresented communities such as Black and African Americans, as well as other minority groups.
While initiatives have been put in place to address this issue, there is still a significant gap in representation, access to funding, and opportunities for Black entrepreneurs.
This article will explore how blockchain can address structural racism and wealth gaps and provide opportunities for Black-owned businesses and projects to thrive.
The challenges faced by black entrepreneurs in tech
The lack of Black representation in tech goes beyond just meeting quotas. Only 2.3% of U.S. businesses are Black-owned, even though Black people comprise almost 14% of the population. Black-owned businesses also have a higher failure rate, with 8 out of 10 failing within the first 18 months.
Businesses owned by Black in the U.S. | Source: crypto.news
The challenges Black entrepreneurs face in tech stem from multiple levels of the startup ecosystem. Moreover, they are often rooted in systemic barriers and biases that limit access to resources and opportunities.
For instance, Black people are underrepresented in STEM degrees, making it harder to break into the tech industry. Venture capital firms are also largely owned and operated by non-Black individuals, which limits the amount of funding available for Black-owned businesses.
Startups are also affected by discrimination, as Black entrepreneurs struggle to access early-stage high-growth projects without meeting the wealth requirements of an accredited investor.
Blockchain as an equalizer
Still, there is a significant opportunity for growth and innovation in this sector.
Blockchain technology and crypto assets are set to transform everything from financial services and supply chains to government services, making it possible to address inequality at its root.
The reason it’s so revolutionary is that blockchain removes many of the traditional barriers to acquiring, storing, and transferring wealth. It’s permissionless, meaning consumers don’t have to access crypto assets through a central authority.
Blockchain allows just about anyone to access early-stage high-growth projects without meeting the wealth requirements of an accredited investor.
While the crypto industry has historically had a gender imbalance, recent trends indicate a shift towards greater gender diversity. Gemini’s State of Crypto 2022 report shows that globally, 47% of those interested in buying cryptocurrency for the first time within the next year are women. In developing countries, female participation in crypto ownership is particularly high, with women making up over half of the crypto owners in Israel (51%), Indonesia (51%), and Nigeria (50%).
On the other hand, in more developed regions, the proportion of women who currently own cryptocurrency is lower. This includes the United States (32%), Europe (33%), and Australia (27%), where only about one-third of crypto owners are women.
DAOs and crypto businesses working to close the gap
Tech accelerators like Smarter in the City, Black Founders, and Blacks in Technology provide workspace, collaboration opportunities, and advocacy for African-American entrepreneurs.
Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), defined simply as blockchain communities with a shared bank account, can take things one step further. Black-owned blockchain businesses, projects, and DAOs help with both access and funding.
Since any centralized leadership doesn’t run DAOs, they’re less likely to exclude people based on identity factors like age, gender, or race. And this lack of discrimination goes beyond DAOs into blockchain as a whole.
An example is a non-fungible token (NFT) project called “Long Neck Ladies”. This is an NFT project created by a 13-year-old Black girl that’s generated millions in revenue.
Long Neck Ladies NFT | Source: nft-stats.com
In conclusion, the lack of representation of Black entrepreneurs in the tech industry is a persistent problem that needs to be addressed to promote diversity, equality, and inclusion.
Blockchain provides a promising solution by empowering underrepresented communities through decentralized financing, DAOs, and other crypto-native solutions.
It is essential to ensure that diversity and inclusion are at the forefront of tech entrepreneurship to create a truly equitable and inclusive world.