Entrepreneurs who feel compelled to conceal the fact that their businesses are black-owned for fear they will lose patronage — either to misperceptions that the products or services are only for blacks, or to racial biases on the part of potential users.
Some entrepreneurs leave their photos out of websites and marketing materials. Others give the impression that their white employees actually own the operations.
According to a 2014 Nielsen report on African-American buying habits, 55 percent of blacks with household incomes of at least $50,000 said they would buy or support a product if it was sold or supported by a person of color or minority-owned business. Only 20 percent of non-African Americans in the same income bracket felt the same. The report did not specify the answers of the remaining respondents.
Concerned that potential white customers would read a dominant black presence as meaning services and products are solely for black buyers, some founders minimize or eliminate images of other black people in advertisements and marketing, as well.