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New Commerce Department Data Shows that Minority Entrepreneurship is Growing

for immediate release
Contact: Dijon Rolle



WASHINGTON (December 15, 2015) The U.S. Department of Commerce today released the final results of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 Survey of Business Owners (SBO), which found that business ownership in our nation is mirroring our increasingly diverse population.  Minority-owned firms in the U.S. rose from 5.8 million in 2007 to 8.0 million in 2012, and employed 7.2 million people in 2012. While the number of minority-owned businesses increased by 2.2 million, the number of non-minority- owned businesses declined by 1.1 million, from 20.1 million in 2007 to 18.9 million in 2012. 

“The Commerce Department is committed to supporting all of America’s businesses, and ensuring that small and minority-owned firms in particular have the tools they need to thrive,” said National Director for Minority Business Alejandra Y. Castillo. “The Department’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) has been a proud and steadfast partner to our nation’s 8 million minority-owned businesses, to better equip these firms to create jobs and increase revenues.

From 2007 to 2012, the percentage of minority-owned firms increased from 22 percent to 29 percent of the total number of U.S. firms. Hispanic-owned firms increased by 46.3 percent from 2.4 million to 3.3 million.  The number of Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander firms rose 45.3 percent from 37,687 to 54,749. Black or African American-owned firms rose from 1.9 to 2.6 million, and the number of Asian-owned firms climbed from 1.5 million to 1.9 million.

“This new Census Bureau data underscores the rapid growth in minority-owned firms. Nonetheless, considerable disparities remain between their revenue and nonminority companies in our economy,” said Director Castillo. “MBDA is committed to eliminating disparities in access to capital and contracts so that minority businesses may fully participate in the economy. Next year, MBDA will invest nearly $13.4 million in grants to continue to support the growth and expansion of Minority Business Enterprises (MBE)s.”

Regional highlights from the final 2012 SBO data:

  • California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Georgia remain the states with the highest numbers of minority-owned businesses.
  • California led all states with 1.6 million minority-owned firms in 2012. Los Angeles County, Calif., led the nation in the number of Hispanic-, Asian-, and American Indian and Alaska Native-owned firms in 2012. It also ranked second in the number of Black or African American- and Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander-owned firms.
  • Georgia had more Black or African American-owned firms in 2012 than any other state (256,848), followed by Florida (251,216). The Atlanta metro area had more Black or African American-owned firms (176,245) in 2012 than any other metro area besides the New York metro area (250,890).
  • Hawaii was the only state in 2012 in which the majority (51.5 percent) of all firms were Asian-owned. California ranked second with 17.0 percent.
  • Among the 50 most populous U.S. cities, New York, NY had the most Hispanic-owned firms with 199,085.  El Paso, TX and Miami, FL had the highest proportion of Hispanic-owned firms with 73.9 percent and 69.2 percent, respectively.
  • California led all states in the number of women-owned firms in 2012, with 1.3 million.

To access the detailed SBO data, visit


About the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

MBDA,, is the only Federal agency dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of U.S. minority-owned businesses. Our programs and services better equip minority-owned firms to create jobs, build scale and capacity, increase revenues and expand regionally, nationally and internationally. Services are provided through a network of MBDA Business Centers. After 45 years of service, MBDA continues to be a dedicated strategic partner to all U.S. minority-owned businesses, committed to providing programs and services that build size, scale and capacity through access to capital, contracts and markets.