MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Across the country and here in Minnesota we’re seeing more women of color becoming business owners, but equity is still a problem.

Recent data from the national partnership for women and families shows Black women in the U.S. who work full time are typically paid just 63 cents for every dollar paid to white men.

Dr. Kristin Morris of Woodbury has four kids and a consulting business.

“My job is to help individuals and organizations do their best work. So at the end of the project, I leave the organization or the product better off than it was when I started,” she said.

After ten long weeks, the PhD has certified her business with the government.

“I have access to higher bids, now I can get bids from the federal government that actually meet my skillset and bid on those,” she said.

She got certified with the help of Activate Network. Char Dobbs started it to give women of color an economic launch.

“There’s so many studies out there that say when an organization is diverse in background and ethnicity, it thrives, it does so much better,” Dobbs said.

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She says since the dearth of George Floyd, there’s been a surge in Black-owned business and corporate diversity awareness. The key is sustaining it.

“To be really frank and honest, some of it has faded because some of the claims were on-the-moment, some of them were emotional,” she said.

Dobbs says the key is to stay focused and give women of color a boost, like helping them through the complicated 10-week certification process.

“Unless we are all winning, does anyone really win?” Dobbs said.

And business owners like Morris, whose business is thriving, are winning … big.

“I am gonna keep on showing up for myself and for my babies as well,” Morris said.

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If you’d like resources on launching a woman of color owned business, or about certification support, click here.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield