The District of Columbia has largely failed to take advantage of the economic might of the federal sector, its major universities like Howard University and its highly skilled workforce to foster a nurturing environment for black business.
Black business growth in the District of Columbia was only half as fast as the nation as a whole from 2002 to 2007. The number of black firms rose 29.3 percent to 15,772 in the preliminary estimate of the 2007 Survey of Business Owners from 12,198 in 2002. Receipts grew faster by 51.7 percent to $2.4 billion from $1.6 billion.
In Year of Jubilee: State of Black Business seventh edition, the District, the most heavily black jurisdiction in the country, is barely achieving adequate scores in the Black Business Affinity Scale. By contrast, nearby Virginia and Maryland have been flourishing locales for black entrepreneurs.
The Silicon Ceiling 13 study does note that the District is leading in providing jobs to blacks in technology. More than 28 percent of the computer workforce in the nation’s capital are African-Americans.