BY POONKULALI THANGAVELU
(Updated May 6, 2019)
Please note this is not a complete list. These are just examples of the cream of the crop.
There are more than eight million minority-owned businesses in the United States, according to the Census Bureau. Of these, about 2.5 million are owned by African-Americans. African-American-owned firms account for about 10% of the approximately 27 million total U.S. businesses.
The percent of the population that is African-American.
Here’s a look at the top revenue-producing black-owned businesses for 2018, by revenue, based on a ranking by Black Enterprise magazine.
World Wide Technology, Inc.
Revenue: $10.77 billion
A Maryland Heights, Mo.-based IT products and services firm, was started in 1990 by David Steward, who remains chairman of the board. Chief executives for the company include Steward and Co-Chief James Kavanaugh. This firm enables its customers to implement the technology. With more than $10 billion in revenue at the end of 2017, the firm employs about 5,000 people.
ACT-1 Group, Inc.
Revenue: $2.8 billion
A business founded by Janice Bryant Howroyd in 1978, is a global firm that helps other businesses manage their workforce and employment needs. Based in Torrance, Calif., the firm started off as an employment agency. As of 2017, the firm employed more than 2,000 people.
Bridgewater Interiors, LLC
Revenue: $2 billion
Bridgewater is a Detroit-based firm in the business of supplying automotive parts. Founded in 1998 and led by CEO Ronald Hall, Sr., the firm is a joint venture between Epsilon Technologies and Johnson Controls, Inc., with an employee base of about 2,087.
Revenue: $1.7 billion
A Southfield, Michigan-based firm. The company was founded by Vincent Johnson. It has a portfolio of automotive companies. Its brands include Piston Automotive, Irvin, Detroit Thermal Systems, and Airea. As of 2017, the company had 9,520 employees.
Vincent “Vinnie” Johnson, commonly known as “The Microwave,” is a former American professional basketball player. During his time, he was a key player who played the position of a sixth man for the Detroit Pistons. He did well with his team during the team’s NBA championships of 1989 and 1990. He retired in 1992 from athletics and has since founded “The Piston Group” which is a manufacturing company. He currently serves as the company’s CEO. He managed to transit from being an athlete to a chief executive officer of a big company.
Coca-Cola Beverages Florida L.L.C.
Revenue: $1.2 billion
One of many Coca Cola franchises, it is led by Troy Taylor. The company has been acquiring more territory in the Florida area to build out its business. As of 2017, it had 4,600 employees.
The Tampa-based company is the only African-American owned Coca-Cola bottler in the U.S and continues to grow rapidly after less than five years in business.
The Bottom Line
Black-owned businesses account for a substantial amount of U.S. revenue. Most of these firms have been established in the last few decades, and many are still led by their entrepreneurial founders.