More Small Businesses Want to Be Diverse. So, What's Stopping Them? — Incfile DEI Survey


More Small Businesses Want to Be Diverse. So, What's Stopping Them? — Incfile DEI Survey

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Incfile surveyed small business owners to discover how they're implementing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in their businesses. While our survey results are extremely positive and show that business owners are making great strides in the DEI space by embracing DEI policy, it also uncovered several areas with room for improvement. 

This is not surprising when tackling a subject that is as personal and impactful as diversity, equity and inclusion. We hope that our survey helps reveal the struggles some business owners are facing in providing an equal, diverse and inclusive workplace, with the takeaway of discovering ways to do better and providing more opportunities to both entrepreneurs and employees in minority communities. Read on for part 2 of our survey results, and see the first set of survey results here.

17% of Respondents Don’t Feel They’re as Diverse as They Should Be

This is in contrast to the larger majority of respondents who said they are either incredibly diverse because it’s crucial to their business or that they are actively seeking out more opportunities to increase diversity. The 17 percent in question do say that they would like to be more diverse than they currently are.

40% Don’t Feel Their Workforce Is Diverse Enough to Have a DEI Policy

A large group of respondents said they didn’t make DEI a priority mainly because their existing workforce isn’t all that diverse. However, everyone can benefit from a strong DEI initiative, whether they belong to a minority community or not. 

reasons DE&I hasn't been a priority for small business owners

Nearly 28% Say Their Business Has Less Than 5% Diverse Workforce

Building off of the previous survey question, a large number of respondents report that there is little to no diversity at all on their team. It is, however, important to note that respondents may be solopreneurs or single business owners who have no employees and are not minorities themselves. 

Alongside this number, another 37 percent responded that there are no minorities in leadership roles within their company. Again, this likely includes some non-minority solopreneurs, but as it is a larger percentage than the previous question, it stands to reason that some respondents do have employees and leadership positions that are not held by minorities.

Many Business Owners Question How to Integrate DEI in Their Business

While more than half of respondents confirmed that DEI is already being integrated across their business operations, the other half was less certain about it.

DEI integration in small business

Nearly 80% Are Not Investing in DEI Programs and Initiatives

In fact, nearly 64 percent reported they have not invested any funds in DEI programs that would identify gaps in their DEI policies and uncover opportunities for growth in this area. Another 15.6 percent said they simply don’t know where to find the programs that would help them ramp up their DEI initiatives. 

DEI in Small Business: Progress Made, Progress Yet to Come

Overall, the results of our Q2 2022 survey with Incfile customers were encouraging and uplifting and showed us again how dedicated and determined these business owners are — not just in terms of running or growing their businesses but also in making the small business community and safe place of growth and opportunity for diverse members of the workforce.

See the rest of the results from our DE&I survey and learn how the pandemic lead to an increase in DE&I policy adoption. 


Our Survey Methodology

We polled business owners and current Incfile customers from 41+ industries, including ecommerce, food and beverage, motion pictures, health care, finance and many more. A majority of respondents (63 percent) own micro businesses consisting of 1-9 employees. A significant subset (15.6 percent) reported themselves as solopreneurs or digital nomads. Just under 5 percent of respondents reported having more than 10 employees.


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