Insight from Matt Stansberry: Diversity Equals Growth - 405 Magazine

Insight from Matt Stansberry: Diversity Equals Growth

Oklahoma City is ranked in the top 6.

Oklahoma City is ranked in the top 6.4% of most diverse large U.S. cities, which will only push the city to grow, particularly within the minority-owned business communities.

I believe there will come a time when our nation’s narrative around diversity will change. It will change because, in some instances, previous minorities will be majorities. But, more importantly, it will change because we will have come to better understand and embrace the differences that collectively make us stronger. Diversity isn’t always easy, but then again, neither is growth. Diversity ushers in challenging conversations, but it leads to the best kinds of innovation and growth. 

A growing city

Our city is quickly becoming more and more diverse. WalletHub did a recent study of more than 500 of the largest U.S. cities across three indicators of ethnic diversity – race, language and birthplace. In the study, Oklahoma City ranked 32nd amongst the most culturally diverse cities in the United States. This puts OKC in the top 6.4% of U.S. cities when it comes to diversity. 

A growing nation

This is a nationwide trend. U.S. News reports that nearly 70% of the country’s largest cities are more racially diverse than they were in 2010. Additionally, the WalletHub study indicates that, by 2045, no single ethnic group will constitute the majority in the country for the first time ever.

A growing economy 

This diversity is showing up in business in a big way. A study by the National Foundation for American Policy found that 55% of America’s $1 billion start-up companies had at least one immigrant founder. These are companies like Stripe, Moderna and Slack. They also determined that nearly 25% of the $1 billion start-up companies had a founder who first came to America as an international student, and three of them were founded by people who came to the country as refugees.

A growing 405

While we continue to experience growth in the 405, I believe it’s of the utmost importance to not only embrace but champion diversity. As a current board member of the Oklahoma City Black Chamber of Commerce, I have come to appreciate the role of minority-owned businesses more deeply in our community and the important role of its champions. With this in mind, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to our newest champion – the Greater Oklahoma City Asian Chamber. 

Here are a few ways we can support Asian and other minority-owned businesses: 

Spend money directly with minority-owned businesses. 

Seek out new restaurants, shops, products and services that are owned by minorities. 

Partner with minority-owned businesses. 

Look for ways to collaborate and cross-promote these businesses to create win-win outcomes for all involved. 

When it comes to a thriving community, diversity is a very good thing. It does take a willingness to get uncomfortable and be vulnerable, but ultimately more people succeed.