And Still They Rise

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African American and other minority women entrepreneurs are making significant strides in industries formerly dominated by white males. And as evidenced by their outstanding business growth and revenues, they are increasingly providing much-needed jobs.

According to a recent report, 1996 Facts on Women-Owned Businesses: Trends Among Minority Women-Owned Firms by the National Foundation for Women Business Owners (NFWBO), firms owned by women of color are growing three times faster than the overall national rate of business growth, generating over $184 billion in sales and employing nearly 1.7 million people. Their greatest growth has been in nontraditional sectors, including construction, wholesale trade and transportation/communications/ public utilities.

Analyzing U.S. Census Bureau statistics, the NFWBO estimated that from 1987-96 the number of black women-owned firms increased by 135%, while employment grew by 70% and revenues rose 55%.