Small Businesses Set the Gold Standard in Embracing DE&I — Incfile DE&I Survey


Small Businesses Set the Gold Standard in Embracing DE&I — Incfile DE&I Survey

Issues of diversity, equity and inclusion have been at the forefront of our collective consciousness over the last couple years. Social injustices across the U.S. have brought to light many of the microaggressions, pay gaps, imbalances in workforce diversity and lack of upward mobility faced by many minorities in the workplace.

We set out to survey our Incfile customers to further understand small business diversity and ask them how they’re approaching DEI in their own companies. Here is the first part of our survey results. The responses were both insightful and empowering, delivering proof of what we already knew, deep in our core:

Entrepreneurship Is Open to All

Owning a business is the American Dream, right? Except that for far too long, that dream was achievable only by those in the majority — typically, white men with access to funding. But over the decades, we’ve seen an encouraging shift. 

Today, more minorities than ever before are starting their own businesses, including BIPOC, women and members of the LGBTQ+ communities. And even among small businesses that aren’t founded by a minority owner, the subject of DEI is being highlighted and valued at a level never before seen. 

Micro Business — Mega Inclusive

The results of our survey prove that you don’t need to run a large corporation to make DEI an important priority. Here are some of the key insights we discovered:

65% of Respondents Identify as a Member of a Minority Group

Incfile survey respondents minority group breakdown

A Vast Majority (82%) Are Making DEI a Priority

how many small business owners make DEI a priority

Diversifying the Workforce: Close to 44% Say 30%+ of Leadership Roles Are Held By Minorities

And over 37 percent of respondents said their business employs more than 70 percent minorities. While that number may include solopreneurs and single-member businesses, many other responses are also encouraging.

percentage of minority employees in small business and leadership roles

52% of Respondents Say DEI Has Been Integrated Across Most of Their Organization

Diversity, equity and inclusion is not standardized in the American workforce. What DEI means will vary from business to business, and the ways in which it is implemented will vary, too. 

However, it’s encouraging to hear that 52 percent of small business owners we spoke with said that their DEI initiatives have been integrated across 30-50 percent of their business operations. 

Almost 64% of Respondents Are Continuing the Conversation About DEI

A broad majority of respondents said that they work to make sure employees feel safe in discussing concerns and issues around diversity, equity and inclusion. This includes not just DEI but the tougher topics it encompasses, like racism, disability and injustice. 

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 where small business owners see room for diversity improvement and 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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