In the research report “Tackling Pandemics: Afro-Brazilian Entrepreneurs and COVID-19,” a team from the University of Texas at Austin explores how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted Afro-Brazilian entrepreneurs. The study investigates their access to business credit and their ability to switch to remote work in the early months of the pandemic in 2020.
Using two databases, the study reveals that Afro-Brazilian entrepreneurs, particularly Microindividual Entrepreneurs (MEI), faced challenges in accessing business credit. Despite similar application rates, black and brown entrepreneurs experienced higher credit denial rates. They also struggled to transition to remote work, with a lower likelihood compared to their white counterparts.
In summary, the study highlights the vulnerability of Afro-Brazilian entrepreneurs during the pandemic due to limited access to capital and difficulties in remote work adaptation. This underscores the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on black and brown-owned businesses in Brazil.
The next steps involve a pilot survey of Brazilian employers to understand their strategies for future pandemic waves, reactions to political uncertainty, credit access, and perceptions of diversity and discrimination. The findings will be compared with data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Federal Reserve, offering insights into pandemic preparedness and equity.
Tackling Pandemics: Afro-Brazilian Entrepreneurs and COVID-19report
Associate Professor, African and African Diaspora Studies