Asian-owned businesses make up the largest share of minority-owned employer businesses in the U.S., employing 5.2 million people and generating $841 billion in revenue annually. But Asian entrepreneurs face surging financial challenges and a need for greater access to capital, according to a meta-analysis by SCORE, a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
May is Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month and SCORE is celebrating AANHPI entrepreneurs and highlighting the customized resources and mentoring available for those seeking to start or grow a small business.
“Entrepreneurship is a significant risk, even more so for AANHPIs who face racial discrimination on top of other countless challenges,” explains John Li, co-founder and CTO of loan provider Fig Loans. “Community resources – including funding options and mentorship – are a must. As the AANHPI community continues to grow and see success, giving back to our community helps spur more growth.”
Access to Financing a Top Concern
When it comes to financing, Asian-owned businesses were more adversely affected by the pandemic than any other racial group. In a survey of firms owned by people of color, the Federal Reserve found that 95 percent of Asian employers self-reported financial challenges in 2021, an increase of 25 percentage points since the same survey in 2019. In addition, AANHPI entrepreneurs face racial discrimination that impacts their access to funding, interferes with hiring and can impact business growth, according to SCORE. AANHPI women business owners are particularly affected. Despite these challenges, Asian small business owners are steadfastly reliant on self and community and their work ethic produces the largest estimated receipts of any minority group.
“Specifically for me as a first-generation Asian-American, there’s familial pressure to do the traditional corporate ladder growth, versus something as risky as a restaurant,” said SCORE client Khailing Neoh, founder and owner of Sum Bar in Greenville, S.C. “But I am doing this for my parents, for my grandparents who immigrated here.”
Free resources available
On May 25, SCORE will host a free, online webinar led by business mentor Eva Chen on the unique challenges facing AANHPI small business owners and practical advice for how to overcome them. In addition, SCORE offers an online resource hub for AANHPI entrepreneurs offering one-on-one mentoring, training and support unique to their experience, along with inspirational success stories from fellow AANHPI entrepreneurs.
Looking for more resources to help fund your business? Read Eight Must-See Money Opportunities for May
Visit SCORE’s hub for AANHPI entrepreneurs to request a mentor or learn more.
Since 1964, SCORE has helped more than 11 million entrepreneurs start, grow or successfully exit a business. SCORE’s 10,000 volunteers provide free, expert mentoring, resources and education in all 50 U.S. states and territories. Visit SCORE at www.score.org.
Funded [in part] through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.