Americans willing to pay more to bridge the racial wealth gap

FUND FOR SOCIAL EQUITY tested a seal to identify Black-owned businesses and found Americans are willing to pay more to close the racial wealth gap. (Image courtesy Jake MacDonald/Minneapolis Fed.)

This post was originally published on Defender Network

by Gregory Stevenson

In news that may be surprising to many, unprecedented national research released recently suggests that most Americans are willing to pay a premium price for products and services if they know that they are helping to reduce the racial wealth gap in the U.S.

The study was cited by Fund for Social Equity, a new nonprofit that works to change the reality of the ongoing racial wealth gap through research-first, marketing-based solutions.

That gap between Black and White households continues to widen in the U.S. and now stands at $44,890 and $285,010, respectively, according to the latest research from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve.

Fund for Social Equity has tested a seal to identify businesses owned and operated by Blacks as a way to reduce the wealth disparity between Black and White Americans.

  • 47 percent of all Americans surveyed definitely or probably would buy, and that rises to 78 percent among Black Americans,
  • 77 percent were neutral to positive on the concept, and,
  • Alienation (rejection of the concept) at 23 percent was low.

“We approach the racial wealth gap with a marketing-first mindset and our research finds that nearly half of all Americans definitely or probably —top two boxes—would purchase at a higher price products and services identified as Black-owned,” said Mark Koide, co-founder of the Fund for Social Equity (FSE) and a life-long marketeer. “This is a potential game-changer for any business that is Black-owned and seeks to differentiate itself.”

FSE is led by an inclusive Board of Advisors also available at, which is comprised largely of marketing and nonprofit leaders who are committed to ending the racial wealth gap.

“In addition to finding large and scalable subgroups within the national general population panel which supported the distinguishing seal with top two box scores of 47 percent, there were very few concept rejectors,” said April Jeffries, who led the FSE team at global researcher Ipsos and serves as its global president of ethnography and immersion. “The bottom two boxes account for less than 25 percent. The concept is much less polarizing than we initially expected.”

Arva R. Rice, CEO of the New York Urban League, added, “The New York Urban League commends the Fund for Social Equity on its commitment to decreasing the wealth gap between Black and other Americans.”

Mark Winston Griffith, an advisor to FSE who is an award-winning journalist, professor of Community Economic Development at Pratt Institute, and co-founder of several New York-based consumer cooperatives, said, “The FSE is sharing our research and is interested in collaborating with like-minded partners who believe the racial wealth gap can be addressed from a community-up perspective by driving more dollars to Black-owned businesses.

More than 15 business sectors were tested and everyday purchases in food and consumer products scored the highest in appeal across expenditure categories. Additional analysis provides detailed breakdowns by regions and demographics of the U.S.

By region, the West South Central, Middle Atlantic, South Atlantic, Pacific, and East North Central Census divisions demonstrated greatest appeal. And among demographics, Millennials, Blacks and Democrats demonstrated the strongest interest.

The label is envisioned for use in all industries—B2B and B2C. It will also be featured at retail and employer sites as a badge indicating fulfillment and ongoing verification of the stringent FSE standards, which as tested include: Black American ownership of more than 50 percent of the company, and operated with more than 25 percent in all management positions identifying as Black American.






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