Receipts are Due – Minnesota Women’s Press

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Gabrieline Reece. Photo David Kromah

Shawntera Hardy, former commissioner of the Department of Jobs and Economic Development, wants to make sure that Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) have everything they need to thrive in this economy. I met Hardy while filming a documentary called “Shot of Influence”, which was about entrepreneurs in Minnesota.

Hardy issued a call to action in the film. She said she wanted to hold people accountable for supporting and funding BIPOC businesses and entrepreneurs. After George Floyd was murdered by police, “It was very touching to see people offering this national stage especially to black businesses. But now the receipts are due. What did you buy? What have you invested in? Because for black businesses, it’s a livelihood. These are not numbers on a spreadsheet. It’s not for likes on social media. These are generations of continued wealth gap in BIPOC communities that are not invested in.

When buying a gift for a friend or family member, consciously think about your consumer power. Consider, for example, the purchase of gift cards for BIPOC-owned restaurants.

Statistics show that BIPOC-owned businesses receive less funding than white entrepreneurs, and those that get bank loans have higher interest rates. According to the Federal Reserve, 80.2% of white business owners receive at least a percentage of the financing they request from a bank, compared to 66.4% of BIPOC owners.

View and add to the current directory of BIPOC products and services.

Investment in BIPOC companies leads to ownership of commercial property, credit building for individuals and generational wealth.

Many BIPOC women in particular start their own businesses because corporate America tends not to treat them well. Prejudice in the workplace leads to ongoing stress. It is necessary to perform and produce at the expense of mental health and physical well-being – the commodification of its value leads to generational trauma for many.

Arielle Grant, founder of Render Free, told me: In the midst of a global pandemic, “we were mourning public murder, we were participating in unrest on our streets. Well-being was so far away at that time. [There was no time to] check for injuries. We remain stuck in this place of the defensive.

Hardy says, “The responsibility to raise a hand to do better is important. It’s not a game.”

Changemakers Alliance is planning a series of talks with BIPOC entrepreneurs as part of our 2023 season. Sign up at to learn more.

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