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MBDA and Kauffman Foundation Partnership Providing Greater Access to the U.S. Census Bureau Data on Minority Entrepreneurs

for immediate release

Last week the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau released the 2015 Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs and this year’s survey data reveals an increase in the number of U.S. minority-owned employer firms, payroll, and the number of people employed.

The survey release is significant because it provides an updated demographic snapshot of the Nation’s employer businesses broken down by gender, ethnicity, race, and veteran status.

Prior to the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, this type of specialized data was only available every five years when the Survey of Business Owners (SBO) was released by the U.S. Census Bureau.   

The Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs is produced through a multi-year public-private partnership between the U.S. Census Bureau, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and the Minority Business Development Agency. This partnership was key in creating a solution to help the U.S. Census Bureau supplement gaps of data due to the length of time between the release of their SBO reports.  

“We are pleased to continue our partnership with the Kauffman Foundation to commission this important survey. MBDA understands the critical need for public access to timely and accurate data that will help local, regional and national programs respond more effectively to the needs of minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs,” said MBDA Acting Director Chris Garcia. “Entrepreneurs are the life blood of our Nation’s economy, and it is imperative that minority firms continue to grow and be significant creators of the jobs that support America’s economic growth. Just as President Trump has promised, this administration is restarting the engine of the American economy and creating more jobs, prosperity, and growth like never before.”

This is the second year in a row that both MBDA and the Kauffman Foundation have participated in the partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau to commission the annual survey. The Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation based in Kansas City with a focus on entrepreneurship and education. The two organizations share an ongoing relationship dating back several years. Most recently MBDA staff participated in the Foundation’s first-ever ESHIP Summit, an event designed to empower entrepreneurs and build entrepreneurial ecosystems.

“Entrepreneurs are the heart of the American economy, but they face barriers to success every day. This comprehensive survey is the most accurate and direct way of understanding what entrepreneurs need. Data that produces actionable insights will help us understand what’s working — and what’s not working — in businesses across the country,” said Victor Hwang, Vice President of Entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation. “The Census is an indispensable partner in our mission to support the makers, the doers, and the dreamers.”

Findings from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs revealed the following:   

  • The number of minority-owned employer firms in the United States increased by approximately 4.9 percent in 2015 to 996,248 from 949,318 in 2014.
  • More than one-quarter (14) of the 50 most populous metropolitan statistical areas had approximately 15,000 or more minority-owned employer businesses. About one-third of the minority-owned employer firms (34.6 percent) were in the accommodation and food services sector.

While by most indicators, minority-owned employer firms saw slight increases in 2015, the disparity between minority and nonminority firms remains:

  • On average, annual receipts for nonminority employer firms are 52% higher than minority-owned firms ($2.5M vs $1.2M). Hispanic, Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander employer firms increased, but receipts for African American and American Indian employer firms decreased by 5 percent and 2 percent, respectively.
  • Average number of employees remained the same for minority-owned firms at 8 employees per firm, while nonminority-owned firms saw the average number of employees grow from 11 to 12 per firm in 2015.

To view the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs visit or www.

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. Established in 1969, MBDA continues to be a dedicated strategic partner to all U.S. minority-owned businesses, committed to providing programs and services that provide greater access to capital, contracts, and markets. Follow us on Twitter @usmbda.

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