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Black businesswoman in conference room with co-workers

Source: Getty


A new report shows that the number of businesses owned by African-American women has grown 332 percent since 1997, according to Fortune magazine.

The recently published study, 2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report (pdf), commissioned by American Express Open, shows that the overall number of female-owned businesses grew by 74 percent between 1997 and 2015, which is 1.5 times the national average.

From Fortune:

Women now own 30% of all businesses in the U.S., accounting for some 9.4 million firms. And African American women control 14% of these companies, or an estimated 1.3 million businesses. That figure is larger than the total number of firms owned by all minority women in 1997, the report found.

“The only bright spot in recent years with respect to privately-held company job growth has been among women-owned firms,” according to the report. These businesses have added an estimated 340,000 jobs to the economy since 2007, while employment at companies owned by men (or with equally shared ownership) has declined…

The highest concentrations of black woman-owned businesses are in Georgia, Maryland, and Illinois, but African American women are launching companies in growing numbers across the country. In Detroit, where city leaders, foundations, and even President Obama have promoted entrepreneurship as an economic development tool, a tiny nonprofit is making outsize efforts at helping black women become business owners. Since it was formed in 2012, the Build Institute has graduated nearly 600 students from its eight-week courses, which teach the basics of starting and running a business, including such topics as money management and how to determine your break-even point. Nearly 70% of those students are women, and 60% of them identify as a member of a minority group.

This is a bit of good news that comes at a time when America is awakening from the slumber that has long tried to subjugate women of color in the workplace, and as progress in the so-called post-recession era appears to elude Black women. Congrats, sistas!

SOURCE: Fortune | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

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