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Black Women Lead Pittsburgh’s Microbusiness Revival

Women holding certificates of recognition from Catapult Startup to Storefront program
Black women in Pittsburgh are boosting Pittsburgh's economy and bridging equity gaps through digital entrepreneurship.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Digital entrepreneurship is helping to bridge equity gaps and create accessible opportunities for all. In Pittsburgh, 47% of women entrepreneurs conduct their businesses online. The lockdown in 2020 compelled many Catapult Greater Pittsburgh participants, particularly Black women, to build websites, resulting in a successful and growing group that is boosting the Pittsburgh economy.

Pittsburgh’s Microbusiness Entrepreneurs

Having a digital presence is crucial for modern business owners, with research showing that microbusiness entrepreneurs utilize their websites for sales and bookings. Black-owned and women-owned businesses have higher website usage and are more likely to have nationwide customers. By redefining entrepreneurship and recognizing the impact of small businesses, we can drive positive change in the broader economy.

“Roughly 95% of Catapult Greater Pittsburgh participants are Black women, and 90% are Black, single moms.  Most started their business out of necessity to supplement their total household income.”

Tammy Thompson, Executive Director, Catapult Greater Pittsburgh

The Value of Having a Digital Presence

In 2020, many Catapult Greater Pittsburgh women participants didn’t have a website. The lockdown pushed them into building one. The result — a successful and growing group of Black women elevating the Pittsburgh economy.

Digital entrepreneurship helps close equity gaps and creates accessible opportunities for all. A digital presence continues to be a key asset for modern business owners to expand their customer base. GoDaddy Venture Forward research finds 25% of microbusiness entrepreneurs use their website for sales and 19% for bookings.

Catapult Greater Pittsburgh is Helping Entrepreneurs

Catapult Greater Pittsburgh was formed to create intentional opportunities for wealth-building.

Take Aquene Watkins-Wise, for instance. She recognized the need to expand her business, Royally Fit, into a physical location, but was uncertain about how to proceed.

That’s when she reached out to Catapult Greater Pittsburgh. Aquene successfully completed our Startup to Storefront program and subsequently participated in a retail incubator program. Currently, she is collaborating with us to secure a permanent brick-and-mortar space, fostering the growth of her retail business.

Leading the Charge in Entrepreneurship

Digital entrepreneurship helps close equity gaps and creates accessible opportunities for all. Pittsburgh’s microbusinesses are thriving thanks to groups like Catapult Greater Pittsburgh. Read the full article from Catapult Greater Pittsburgh’s Tammy Thompson and Alexandra Rosen to learn why Pittsburgh stands out as one of the fastest-growing areas for America’s smallest businesses and how Black women are leading the charge in entrepreneurship.

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