The archetypical idea of a hearth encompasses BOM’s central mission of support. The warm, nurturing space, in front of a fire is where family, friends, and partners meet to rest, recharge, and connect. BOM exists to create that space and consideration for Black entrepreneurs in Maine.
We are acutely aware of the deeply ingrained racism present in economic practices, which has significant adverse effects on Black communities. We are committed to dismantling these discriminatory patterns to pave the way for enhanced stability, opportunities, and growth for Black individuals.
Black businesses hold a vital position in our society, offering essential and culturally relevant products and services. By supporting and empowering Black-owned businesses, we strive to provide our community members with increased freedom and autonomy in their lives.
At the core of our mission, we firmly believe in harnessing the collective power of Black-owned businesses to drive meaningful change in Maine’s economic landscape. We understand that a vital ingredient for success is providing sound education on business ownership. Without it, we cannot expect Black entrepreneurs to thrive or choose to call Maine their home. Our programs are designed with a Black-led approach, empowering Black entrepreneurs to take charge and steer their businesses towards prosperity and growth. We are committed to fostering an inclusive and equitable environment where the dreams and aspirations of Black entrepreneurs become a reality.
The revolutionary events of 2020 have ignited a global movement for racial justice and equality, fueling our determination to challenge systemic racism in every aspect of society, including the business landscape in Maine. This uprising shattered the illusion that Maine is immune to the deep-rooted issues of systemic racism. We reject complacency and demand drastic changes to dismantle barriers faced by Black entrepreneurs. We stand together to empower and uplift Black entrepreneurs, recognizing that systemic racism intentionally hinders their success. Half-hearted attempts to address these issues are not enough; we demand a complete overhaul of the economic landscape to ensure true inclusivity and opportunity for our community.
The spirit of unity and resilience displayed during the 2020 movement drives us forward, but we know our fight is far from over. We call for tangible and radical action from every corner of society as we work to shape the history of Black entrepreneurship in Maine.
We will not rest until systemic racism is eradicated and every Black entrepreneur is given a fair chance at success. Empty promises and token gestures are unacceptable; we demand a fundamental shift in the economic paradigm.
As a fierce force for change, we demand justice and equity in the face of systemic oppression. By confronting oppressive structures head-on, we will create a new future where Black entrepreneurs thrive, and systemic racism has no place in Maine’s business community. Together, we will transform our society and build a more just and equitable future for all.
In Maine, Black residents make up only 1.6% of the total population (Census 2021). Despite this, Black entrepreneurs own a mere 618 businesses, representing less than 0.25% of all small businesses in the state. Shockingly, this number accounts for only 5% of Maine’s Black working-age population, while their White counterparts own businesses at a rate of 13%.
The economic disparities are glaring. Active Black business owners reported an annual self-employment income of just $9,150, a stark contrast to the $26,210 reported by White Mainers (American Community Survey 2018). These disparities underscore the urgent need for equitable opportunities and support for Black entrepreneurs in Maine. The current landscape demands radical change to break down barriers and foster an inclusive business environment that uplifts all communities.