In The Black: African-American Business Growing Fast

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September 14, 2012 ‐ By Ann Brown

Image: Shutterstock

It may sound strange considering the country’s ecomonic status, but business is good for most African American-owned businesses — especially in Michigan. According to Ken Harris, president and CEO of the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce, black businesses are “growing at a rate three times the national average,” he told CBS Detroit. He continued, “…there’s more than 79,000 black-owner firms in Michigan; more than 32,000 in the city of Detroit alone, which ranks number four in the entire country.”

Harris believes one reason this may be happening is the younger generation’s passion for becoming entrepreneurs.  “Entrepreneurship is extremely attractive,” Harris told CBS Detroit. “That’s why we have a Chamber of Commerce there now, to really nurture and develop young entrepreneurs; to put the types of resources in place that will allow them to benefit, to build their businesses [to] more than just a one-employee business. [M]ore importantly, to compete globally.”

It’s not only in Michigan where black businesses are growing. According to the most recent numbers from the Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency and the US Census Bureau, the number of African American-owned firms in the United States increased by 60.5 percent between 2002 and 2007 to 1.9 million firms. Because of these stats, African-American businesses are proving themselves very important to the U.S. economy and its recovery. The Bureau reported that “African American-owned businesses also drove job creation over the five-year period, with employment growing 22 percent, exceeding that of non-minority-owned businesses.”

Despite this positive growth, however African-American businesses only represent seven percent of all businesses in the U.S.

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