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Entrepreneurship To Inheritance: The Changing Face of U.S. Billionaire Wealth

By CultureBanx Team

  • A total of $150.8B has been accumulated through inheritance compared to $128.9B through entrepreneurship
  • There are only three Black people Forbes 400 List including Robert F. Smith, David Steward and Michael Jordan with an estimated net worth of $9.2B, $7.6B $3B respectively

With the ever-evolving landscape of wealth amassment, we’re witnessing a significant shift from entrepreneurial billionaires to those inheriting wealth. The number of global billionaires has seen a 7% increase, totaling 2,544 individuals, according to a report from Swiss bank UBS. Their combined wealth has also risen by 9%, approximating a colossal $12 trillion. The impact of this change on Black wealth is an intriguing subject that deserves thorough exploration.

Why This Matters: For the first time since UBS started tracking these statistics in 2015, more wealth has been accumulated through inheritance than through entrepreneurial means. A total of $150.8 billion has been accumulated through inheritance, compared to $128.9 billion through entrepreneurship. This marks a turning point in the landscape of billionaire wealth, highlighting the increasing influence of inherited wealth in the United States.

The shift from entrepreneurship to inheritance in billionaire wealth acquisition has implications for Black wealth in the U.S. Historically, Black entrepreneurs have faced numerous barriers to wealth creation, including limited access to capital, discriminatory practices, and systemic inequalities. As a result, the number of self-made Black billionaires remains significantly lower than their white counterparts.

According to Forbes there are only seven Black billionaires in the United States. Of these, only two are considered self-made billionaires, while the remaining five have inherited their wealth. On “The Forbes 400 list” only three Blacks made it including Robert F. Smith, with an estimated net worth of $9.2 billion, David Steward, with an estimated net worth of $7.6 billion and Michael Jordan with an estimated net worth of $3 billion. There was no Black woman on the list.

Situational Awareness: The shift from entrepreneurship to inheritance in billionaire wealth acquisition raises important questions about economic equity and the impact on black wealth. Inherited wealth often perpetuates existing disparities, as it tends to concentrate in already wealthy families. This continues to limit opportunities for Black individuals and families to build generational wealth and contribute to the overall economic growth of their communities.

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