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EXIM Celebrates Black History Month with Exporter Assistance
February 06, 2024 Jane Lemons, Business Development Specialist

Each February, Black History Month honors the contributions of African Americans and highlights how Black history and culture have enriched every aspect of American life.

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) joins in celebrating the increasing number of U.S. Black-owned businesses and offers trade finance tools to help these companies grow their businesses and increase their sales.

EXIM remains committed to helping historically underserved businesses succeed, providing numerous resources to help them begin or expand their export sales – including the upcoming Export Readiness webinar on February 13.

EXIM President and Chair Reta Jo Lewis celebrates Black History Month. You also can view her message here.

Black-Owned Business Ownership

The most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows the number of minority-owned businesses — including Black- or African American-owned businesses — continues to grow in all sectors of the U.S. economy.

The Census Bureau found that in 2021:

  • There were 161,031 Black-owned businesses across all sectors of the U.S. economy.
  • Those businesses generated $183.3 billion in annual sales.
  • They accounted for 1.4 million employees and about $53.6 billion in annual payroll.
  • The highest concentration of these businesses — 28 percent— was in the health care and social assistance sector accounting for 45,015 businesses.

Increase Sales by Reaching Global Markets

To underscore how U.S. businesses can expand sales and increase profits, EXIM’s Minority and Women-Owned Business Division (MWOB) will be hosting the latest session of the free Export Readiness webinar series on February 13 at 2 p.m. EST — Export Readiness for the Underserved Business Community: Due Diligence & Risk Mitigation Tips When Exporting.

This virtual and interactive learning session will highlight exporting strategies and trade finance solutions that can help you achieve success while selling abroad. In addition to the presentations, there will be an audience Q&A session. There is no cost for the webinar, and you can register for the event here.

To help spread the word about EXIM financing to underserved communities, the MWOB team works closely with organizations that have a minority trade focus to create opportunities for U.S. companies that are owned by minorities, women, veterans, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ+ community along with rural and startup businesses.

Export Readiness Banner

Celebrating Vast Contributions

Black History Month dates to 1926, when historian Carter G. Woodson founded Negro History Week. The timing in February was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist Fredrick Douglass — two symbols of American freedom who played key roles in shaping Black history. Fifty years later, President Gerald Ford extended the observation to a full month during the nation’s bicentennial in 1976, and presidents have issued proclamations every year since.

This year, in proclaiming February as Black History Month, President Joe Biden celebrated the vast contributions that Black Americans have made to the country.

“America is a great Nation because we choose to learn the good, the bad, and the full truth of the history of our country — histories and truths that we must preserve and protect for the next generation. This National Black History Month, as we remember where we have been, may we also recognize that our only way forward is by marching together,” he said.

EXIM is committed to prioritizing equity and providing resources for U.S. small businesses. To find out how EXIM can help your business increase international sales, schedule a free consultation with a member of the MWOB team and start your export journey today.

Get a Free Export Finance Consultation Today!

EXIM’s Blog postings are intended to highlight various facets of exporting, but the postings are not legal advice, and are not intended to summarize all legal requirements associated with exporting.