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AEO Releases New Fact Sheet on LGBTQ+ Economy in Honor of Pride Month

By Lori Smith, Ph.D., Senior Research Associate at AEO 

Washington, D.C., [June 26, 2024] – In honor of Pride Month, the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) is proud to release a fact sheet on LGBTQ+ business ownership. This publication highlights the significant contributions of LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs to the economy, the diversity of their businesses, the unique challenges they face, and the support systems needed to foster their growth and success. 

Click here to download the Fact Sheet. 

LGBTQ+ businesses generate over $1.7 trillion in economic impact annually in the United States alone. LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs are thriving across various sectors, including professional services, healthcare and education, and hospitality. These businesses often lead the way in fostering diverse and inclusive workplaces. 

Despite their successes, LGBTQ+ business owners still encounter significant obstacles, such as discrimination and difficulties in accessing capital. The fact sheet underscores the importance of comprehensive LGBTQ+ rights and nondiscrimination policies to creating an environment where all businesses can flourish. Continuous advocacy, policy development, and capital access programs are crucial to creating a more equitable environment for LGBTQ+ businesses. 

Natalie Madeira Cofield, President and CEO of AEO, stated, “As we celebrate Pride Month, it’s essential to recognize and support the remarkable contributions of LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs. They play a crucial role in our economy and enrich our communities. This fact sheet is a testament to their diversity, impact, and the need for continued advocacy and support.” 

AEO’s research reveals a thriving LGBTQ+ business community despite significant obstacles, with ongoing advocacy, nondiscrimination policies, and a growing consumer preference for diversity driving more support and success. AEO encourages stakeholders, policymakers, and the public to join in the efforts to support LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs. By doing so, we can help create a more inclusive and equitable business environment for all. 

Prominent economist and Chief Economist of Koppa LGBTI+ Economic Power Lab Dr. M. V. Lee Badgett added, “LGBTQ+ business owners not only contribute to economic growth but also drive social progress by fostering inclusive environments. Their resilience and innovation are key to building a stronger, more diverse economy. Ensuring equitable access to resources and support for these entrepreneurs is not just a matter of fairness; it’s an economic imperative.”  

To further mark this celebration, AEO will bring together a diverse panel of experts and stakeholders for a virtual conversation as part of its “Equity and Opportunity for All” Series on Thursday, June 27th. Join us for a meaningful dialogue aimed at creating actionable solutions to drive progress in achieving economic equity for the LGBTQ+ business community. Click here to RSVP 

 To further expand the dialogue, share your insights and ideas with our research team at [email protected].