Data on the purchasing power and economic contributions of the LGBTQI+ community worldwide is important for several reasons. It can help businesses and marketers understand the potential market size and consumer behaviours of the community in a specific country, enabling them to tailor their products and services. Data can also be useful to highlight the economic contributions of the LGBTQI+ community and challenge stereotypes and misconceptions, and demonstrate that purchasing power and business can play a vital role in driving economic growth and development at local, national and international levels.
By promoting equality, tapping into new markets, fostering innovation, and enhancing talent acquisition, countries and businesses will all benefit immensely in the long run.
In the case of the United States, data regarding the LGBTQI+ community providing this and other important information has been used as supporting evidence when advocating for more inclusive business and economic policies at city and state levels. In 2017, the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) released the groundbreaking America’s LGBTQ2+ Economy Report to estimate the economic impact of LGBTIQ+ -owned businesses on the U.S. economy. According to the report, over USD1.7 trillion is added to the GDP by LGBTIQ+ -owned businesses. With the data provided by the LGBTQ2+ Economy Report, LGBTIQ+ -owned businesses and advocates in the United States could point clearly to the economic growth and job creation that occurrs when LGBTIQ+ -owned businesses are able to participate in the economy. The availability of published data strengthened efforts to push for the inclusion of LGBTIQ+-owned businesses in public procurement processes at the local level. For instance, in 2019, Los Angeles became the largest municipality in the US to formally include LGBTIQ+ -owned businesses in the city’s billions of dollars in contract procurement. In 2021, New York City overtook Los Angeles as the largest municipality to grant LGBTIQ-owned businesses access to minority contracts. These accomplishments at the local level were aided by the availability of accurate and extensive data on the economic contributions of the LGBTQI+ community.
In recent years, there has been growing recognition of the importance of understanding the economic status and contributions of the LGBTQI+ community worldwide and while much progress has been made in advancing LGBTQI+ rights and inclusion, there remains a lack of comprehensive data on the purchasing power of the community and the economic contributions of LGBTQI+ -owned businesses in developing regions where our community’s wellbeing and economic growth continues to be threatened by different socioeconomic and political challenges. Therefore, it is crucial to generate more data to explore methodically the importance of understanding the economic dynamics within the LGBTQI+ community in developing nations to inform policymakers and advocates about the economic disparities faced by the LGBTQI+ community and find relevant solutions.
Importance of Data on Purchasing Power
- Market Opportunities: Access to accurate data on the purchasing power of the LGBTQI+ community in developing countries can reveal significant market opportunities. This information empowers businesses to understand the needs, preferences, and demands of this consumer segment, allowing them to tailor products, services, and marketing strategies accordingly. By understanding the purchasing power, businesses can better serve the diverse needs of the LGBTQI+ community worldwide and foster economic growth and social inclusion.
- Inclusive Policies: Reliable data on the purchasing power of the LGBTQI+ community assists policymakers in making evidence-based decisions. It helps identify the economic barriers faced by the community including discrimination, wage disparities, and limited access to financial resources among others. Armed with this knowledge, policymakers can implement targeted policies to promote inclusivity, address economic disparities, and support economic empowerment within the LGBTQI+ community.
- Social Change: Data on economic purchasing power can serve as a powerful tool to challenge harmful socioeconomic misconceptions about the LGBTQI+ community. Additionally, data would foster recognition that the LGBTQI+ community is not only a vibrant part of society but also a valuable economic force. Such recognition can lead to increased acceptance, reduced discrimination, and improved social attitudes towards the LGBTQI+ community, thus advancing human rights through an economic lens in developing countries.
Importance of Data on Economic Contributions of LGBTQI+ -Owned Businesses and Entrepreneurs
- Economic Growth: LGBTQI+ -owned businesses in developing countries can play a vital role in driving economic growth. Having the ability to collect data on the economic contributions of these businesses would allow policymakers and stakeholders to understand their impact on job creation, GDP growth, and overall economic development. It would provide evidence to support the implementation of programs and policies that promote entrepreneurship, investment, and support mechanisms for LGBTQI+ -owned businesses, thereby fostering economic prosperity.
- Policy Advocacy: Comprehensive data on the economic contributions of LGBTQI+ -owned businesses enhances their visibility and strengthens their case for policy advocacy. This data would help quantify the value of these businesses in terms of revenue generation, employment opportunities, and tax contributions. Having this information would enable business associations, advocacy groups, and community leaders to advocate for supportive policies, access to finance, and business development programs, fostering a favourable environment for LGBTQI+ entrepreneurship.
- Empowerment and Role Models: Gathering data on successful LGBTQI+ -owned businesses in developing countries can serve as a source of inspiration and empowerment for aspiring entrepreneurs within the community. It would generate role models and showcase the potential for economic success, encouraging more LGBTQI+ individuals to pursue entrepreneurial ventures. This would foster economic empowerment tremendously in addition to contributing to the representation and visibility of the LGBTQI+ community in the business world while challenging stereotypes and fostering social acceptance of our business community in parts of the world where seeing successful LGBTQI+ business owners and entrepreneurs thrive is not the norm.
Understanding the purchasing power and economic contributions of the LGBTQI+ community in developing countries will not only empower local LGBTQI+ people and businesses, but also lead to well-informed policies and promote inclusivity intentionally guided by solid and impactful data. Generating such data could help to make a strong business case for the economic inclusion of the LGBTQI+ community and that inclusion is not only a matter of human rights but also a strategy for the sustainable economic growth of an entire country. By promoting equality, tapping into new markets, fostering innovation, and enhancing talent acquisition, countries and businesses will all benefit immensely in the long run. It is crucial for governments, businesses, and civil society stakeholders in developing countries to recognise the immense value of data on LGBTQI+ purchasing power and the economic contributions of LGBTQI+-owned businesses to take proactive steps to ensure economic equality and inclusivity for everyone residing in developing countries, which in turn will create positive social change, enable individuals to contribute fully to society and realise their potential.