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Minority-owned businesses fuel growth in entrepreneurship

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Last week I talked about Equal Pay Day and the dismal pay gap that exists between men and women.

Well, today I've got good news: The creation of new businesses is booming for minority entrepreneurs.

Minority-owned businesses were responsible for adding 72.3% of new jobs created between 2007  and 2012, according to a new report from the Center for Global Policy Solutions (CGPS).

Thenumber of businesses owned by white women grew just over nine percent, while the number of firms owned by white men rose just 0.3 percent.

Many minorities see entrepreneurship as a viable option, or the only option, in light of harsh economic conditions and dim employment prospects.

And the shift in growth was especially dramatic for women of color.

The number of businesses owned by Asian-American, Hispanic and black women grew faster than almost every other demographic group in the years during and after the recession.

The number of businesses owned by women of color more than doubled between 2007 and 2016, increasing by 126%. According to the2016 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report by American Express OPEN, right now there are approximately:

1.9 million African American women-owned firms; just under 1.9 million Latina-owned businesses; an estimated 922,700 Asian American women-owned companies; 153,400 Native American/Alaska Native women-owned enterprises; and approximately 31,100 Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander women-owned firms.

And they employ two million workers and generate $344 billion in revenue.

If the share of minority-owned businesses were equal to their share of the labor force, that would create 1.1 million more businesses, almost nine million more jobs and a potential $300 billion in income for workers, according to the CGPS report.

Maya Rockeymoore is president of CGPS. She told The Wall Street Journal:

The recession years were, by necessity, an opportunity for people of color in general, and women of color specifically, to actually have a personal response to the Great Recession – when many people of color were laid off in greater proportion – by creating businesses.

Earlier this month, Dustin Dwyer brought us a story about #TheShift, the idea that we need to increase the number of African-American businesses, to decrease rates of unemployment and poverty among African-American families.

I think all of these shifts are steps in a very good direction.

You can read the full report by the Center for Global Policy Solutions here.

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