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Are Black Entrepreneurs Key to Solving Black Unemployment?

On Nov. 30, President Obama issued a proclamation to mark the 30th anniversary of Minority Enterprise Development Week. The proclamation reads in part:

The belief in tomorrow’s promise is guiding minority entrepreneurs across our country to start the kinds of businesses that make up the backbone of our economy.

The proclamation goes on to highlight the importance of minority entrepreneurs to the American economy and communities at large. One thing the proclamation does not specify is the importance of minority entrepreneurs to African-American communities, particularly when it comes to addressing one of the most daunting issues the Obama administration has struggled to address: African-American unemployment.

While the Obama campaign received a boost from a relatively positive jobs report released just before Election Day, not all Americans were celebrating. African-American unemployment rose from 13.4 percent in September to 14.3 percent in October while the jobless rate for black teens rose to 40.5 from 36.7 percent. The administration’s lack of progress on this issue has been a source of criticism and concern, even among some of his supporters, including Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), outgoing chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, who shared his disappointment in a previous interview with The Root.

Read more: Kelly Goff,  The Root


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