Characteristics of Minority Business and Entrepreneurs: An Analysis of the 2002 Survey of Business Owners
Minority business enterprises are an engine of employment growth and economic expansion in America. As minority businesses grow in size, scale, and capacity, so does the American economy. Although the number of minority firms continued to increase at a fast rate between 1997 and 2002, and it is at a historic height of 4 million firms, their growth rate in gross receipts has lagged behind their growth in number of firms. Minorities also have yet to achieve entrepreneurial parity in relation to their proportional share of the U.S. population. This report, Characteristics of Businesses and Entrepreneurs, analyzes minority businesses to identify trends that may have impacted their performance in 2002. The report uncovers a positive trend in the growth of average gross receipts for minority firms with employees. It also reveals that minority firms are more likely to export compared to nonminority businesses. These trends support the premise that minority firms are uniquely positioned to compete in the global economy, due in part to language capabilities and understanding of other cultures by many minority entrepreneurs. The report also examines some of the challenges minorities may be facing in growing their businesses, such as adequate capital to start and expand the business, entrepreneurial experience and educational attainment. It also highlights that minority firms are less likely to sell goods and services to businesses and organizations. This is an opportunity for growth for minority entrepreneurs. With a fast growing minority population that will approach 50 percent of the Nation's population by 2050 and a highly competitive global market, America's competitiveness will increasingly depend on the innovation and strength of minority business enterprises. The Minority Business Development Agency remains committed to working with public and private sector partners to strengthen programs that effectively support the expansion and growth of minority owned businesses. America's full economic potential and global competitiveness demand no less.
Ronald N. Langston
Minority Business Development Agency
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