Community Business Strategies, Inc.
Jackson Business Accelerator Collaboration
Models for Advancing Diverse Economies in Mississippi


Blue Cross
& Blue Shield
of Mississippi

Building Better Black-Owned Businesses
Helps Build A Stronger Mississippi!

U.S. Census data from 2007 and 2010 shows Jackson has a total population
of 173,514, and 138,940 (80.1%) are African-American. 64.6% of the Black
population is in the labor force, with an 11.8% unemployment rate, and 30.4%
living in poverty. 44.9% of classifiable businesses in Jackson are owned by
African Americans, with about 4% of classifiable, and 1.4% of total revenues.

Our Black-owned businesses employ on average 0.31 workers
per business, with $6,972 average annual payroll per business.

While many business development resources are available, the vitality and profitability of Black-owned businesses falls far short. Clearly, we need to do more.

Paul Graham, co-founder of Y-Combinator, a very successful start-up incubator, believes the “lack of diversity across the start-up landscape is due to a lack of diversity in the applicant pool.”

The International Economic Development Council states that “Economic developers can't afford to use the same strategies they've always used and expect different results,” and recommends “developing a culture that embraces entrepreneurship and creates a thriving place to do business.”


The Jackson Business Accelerator Collaboration mission is to increase quality, number, and size of African-American owned businesses in Mississippi by working with business leaders and business development organizations to develop, promote, and implement systemic, collective, community-based strategies and programs to improve business culture, collaboration, capacity, and innovation within the African-American community.

We propose the following four point strategy to help move forward:

1. Business Development Resources Roundtable and Comprehensive Strategy

2. Continuing Business Education- SCORE chapter and volunteer business support

3. Community organization and church based business networks

4. Young adult entrepreneurship/business development programs in the public schools, after-school programs, and community organizations

Michael Harris, Program Manager, at 601-540-5415


Program Summary

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Community Business Strategies, Inc. and all programs are Equal Opportunity Employers and Service Providers.