6 Minority-Led Organizations Changing Our World | Net Impact

6 Minority-Led Organizations Changing Our World

The Benefits of a Diverse Workplace | Net Impact

Good for business

Minority business owners make a huge difference in their communities and set the standard for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. In fact, minority representation in business is also important for improving a business's bottom line.

Room for growth with minority business

The national environment is improving.

According to the Annual Business Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau, there are more than 1 million minority-owned employer businesses (i.e., businesses that have employees) in the United States. These businesses employ 8.7 million workers in the country. While minority-owned businesses are on the rise — the overall number of minority-led organizations rose by 11% between 2014 and 2016 — there is still a lot of work to be done to create more racial equity in business.

Some areas still need development.

Minority representation on nonprofit advisory boards is an area where U.S. businesses could do more with diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). A study of nonprofit organizations from the Urban Institute found the following disturbing information:

  • The makeup of the average nonprofit board of directors is 86% white.
  • Fewer than 8% of board members are black, and only 3.5% are Hispanic.
  • More than half of all nonprofit boards are made up entirely of non-Latino white directors.
  • Among those nonprofits who serve a population that is more than 50% black, 18% of them have no black representation on the board of directors.

Minority representation matters

Diverse companies lead to overall success.

Minority representation in the workplace — especially at the higher levels — is important. Research shows that diverse companies increase profitability and creativity, and they exhibit stronger leadership and a better ability to solve problems. Employees and leaders with diverse backgrounds bring new perspectives to the workplace and help build organizations that are more effective and resilient.

Benefits of having a minority-led organization

Diversity in management increases revenue.

When diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are a priority for companies, they not only ensure a more equitable workplace, but they also add to their profit margins. A recent study by the BCG Henderson Institute found that companies with more diversity in management reported an increase in revenue of 45%, as opposed to 26% for those companies with less diverse management.

Minority business owners set the standard

There are many minority-led organizations in the United States that are setting the standard for good business practices, including these great minority business owners who have used their culture and background to make a difference in their communities.

1. Cisco Home

Named for its founder and designer, Cisco Penedo, Cisco Home has created eco-friendly, handmade furniture for Los Angeles homes for the past three decades. Penedo, who grew up in a small Mexican village, uses his passion for community building, sustainability and elegant design to ensure that the studio produces pieces that are both beautiful and better for the environment.


B. YELLOWTAIL founder Bethany Yellowtail is an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne Nation and was raised in the Crown Nation. She founded the B. YELLOWTAIL COLLECTIVE, her clothing brand initiative, in 2016 to create economic opportunities for Native Americans, First Nations and Indigenous entrepreneurs. B. YELLOWTAIL specializes in storytelling through wearable art.

3. Black Visions Collective

Minnesota-based Black Visions Collective was founded in 2017 to create a political space for Black communities across the state. The minority-led organization centers its work on healing and transformative justice principles and builds grass-roots movements designed to sustain long-term success and transformation.

4. NightLight Pediatric Urgent Care

NightLight Pediatric Urgent Care takes a collective approach to pediatric care, opening under the philosophy that parents, healthcare providers and caregivers work together to ensure that young bodies, minds and spirits are healthy. Founders Dr. Anastasia L. Gentles, Sawadi Bryant, and Connie Cazares founded the company in an effort to combine expert medical care with comfort and passion.

5. Black Girls CODE

Black Girls CODE is a minority-led organization that was founded by engineer Kimberly Bryant to change the face of technology, introducing programming and technology to young and pre-teen girls of color. As she explained in her TED Talk at TEDxKC 2013, her mission in developing the organization is to create a new generation of coders who will innovate the technological world and build their own futures.

6. Rebuild Foundation

Rebuild Foundation was founded by artist Theaster Gates as part of a network of organizations in Chicago that provide platforms for cultural development, art and neighborhood transformation. Rebuild projects, which were featured in Episode 2 of the recent Apple TV Documentary HOME, are designed to support artists and strengthen communities by creating new cultural amenities, providing arts programming free of charge, and developing affordable housing, studios, and live-work spaces.

Get involved

You can make a difference! Learn more about how you can get involved with racial equity and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives in business and society with Net Impact and our program and events throughout the year.