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Biz startups by women, minorities surge
The number of minority and women owners soared between 1997 and 2002, Census Bureau says.
July 29, 2005: 12:45 PM EDT
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NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Boom goes the growth rate of businesses owned by minorities and women.

A Census Bureau survey shows that minority groups and women are outpacing the national average when it comes to owning their own business.

The Survey of Business Owners showed that the total number of businesses in the nation grew to 23 million in 2002 from 1997, with minorities owning about 18 percent of those enterprises.

The surging number of minority- and women-owned ventures helped the nation's businesses rake in $23 trillion in 2002.

Overall, the number of businesses in the country grew 10 percent during the period. But minorities and women have been ahead of the pack, with some groups ratcheting up growth rates as high as 67 percent.

The survey showed that among minorities, Hispanics own the most businesses with 1.6 million. That's a 31 percent rise from 1997. But when it comes to growth, black-owned businesses outpaced them by growing at a 45 percent clip over the period to 1.2 million businesses.

Hispanic-owned businesses were mostly in service industries like administration and support while health care accounted for most of black owners' receipts.

Asians make up a smaller percentage of the nation's demographic, but they are playing a significant role in the minority-driven entrepreneurial expansion. Asian-owned businesses grew 24 percent from 1997 to 1.1 million, and the number of businesses owned by native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders exploded during the period -- rising 67 percent to 32,299, the survey said.

It's been said that women "hold up half the sky," and they're supporting America's small businesses as well. Women owned 6.5 million businesses in 2002, up 20 percent from 1997.

Asian receipts totaled $343.3 billion, Hispanic firms contributed $226.5 billion, and blacks accounted for $92.7 billion of the $23 trillion in total receipts taken in by the country's businesses in 2002.

The Survey of Business Owners was conducted as part of the Census Bureau's 2002 economic census and combined data from more than 2.4 million businesses.

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