Note from BW of Brazil: Various studies have shown that 125 years after the end of slavery, Afro-Brazilians continue to experience racism and inequalities in many areas of Brazilian society. But for some, these experiences with discrimination and exclusion have led to creativity that have benefited them much more in the long run as the push for the expansion of black business continues to advance. The research and success story in this report provide more proof of this.
Blacks are half owners of micro and small enterprises
by Mariana Barbosa
Pretos (blacks) and pardos (browns) now command 49% of micro and small enterprises in the country, a number that approximates their representation of the population (51%). There are 11 million entrepreneurs, 28.56% more than in 2001, when blacks owned 43% of micro and small businesses with revenues of up to R$3.6 million (US$1.573 million) annually. The data are part of a study of Sebrae based on data from PNAD (Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicílios or National Household Sample Survey) 2011.
“Society is becoming less unequal, but the differences are still great,” says the president of Sebrae (1), Luiz Barretto. “The big challenge is to reduce income inequality and this is done with training.”
The average income of black entrepreneurs was R$1,039 ($454) in 2011, compared to R$2,019 (US$882) of whites (a difference of 94.3%). In 2001, the difference was greater: 141.3%. If among whites increasingly the motivation to start a business is the opportunity, among blacks necessity still dominates.
“Most undertake this for lack of option, being excluded from the labor market,” says Reinaldo Bugarelli, course coordinator of sustainability and social responsibility of FGV (Fundação Getulio Vargas).
A survey conducted by the researcher FGV Eliane Barbosa da Conceição shows that the situation repeats itself in the formal labor market. Considering data from six metropolitan areas in 2010, the average income of the white economically active population was 83% larger than the black (R$1,910 or US$835 compared to R$1,043 or US$456).
The advance in terms of schooling in the last decade was small. In 2011, the black entrepreneur had spent less time in the classroom than white ten years before. For Conceição, prejudice, rather than a lack of education is what leads blacks to be excluded from the labor market.
She analyzed state and private banks and found that the public, in which the access is via competition, there are more blacks in operational positions. “In the private sector, blacks are barred in the interview,” she says.
With two degrees in business administration and logistics, the entrepreneur Fabiano Moreira, 38, decided to start his own business last year, after facing resistance to his work in a company.
“The difficulty is to grow very high. Companies don’t want to hand over a leadership position to a black in order not to link him to the image of the company,” he says, which began as a motoboy (motorcycle courier/delivery boy) and today commands Unika Logistics, which manages more than 3,000 deliveries and sales of R$400,000 (US$175,000) per month.
1. SEBRAE – Sebrae is part of a system created in 1972 – the Centro Brasileiro de Apoio à Pequena e Média Empresa (Brazilian Center for Support to Small and Medium Enterprise or Cebrae) linked to the Federal Government. Since 1990, the organization became an autonomous social service denominated Serviço Brasileiro de Apoio às Micro e Pequenas Empresas – Sebrae or Brazilian Service of Support for Micro and Small Enterprises. Formally, it is a civil nonprofit, created by Law No. 8029 on April 12, 1990, regulated by Decree No. 99.570, of October 9, 1990, subsequently amended by Law No. 8154 of December 28,1990. Source