New data from the Census Bureau shows that women and minority groups are increasing their business ownership at a higher rate than the general population. The number of US business increased by only 10 percent overall from 1997 to 2002, when the Census Bureau conducted its Survey of Business Owners. However, business owned by women increased by 20 percent, and businesses owned by minority groups increased by even greater percentages, from 31 percent for Hispanic-owned businesses and 45 percent for African-American-owned businesses to 67 percent for native Hawaiian- and other Pacific Islander-owned businesses, according to the Census Bureau.
Women-owned businesses with paid employees account for 17 percent of all such US businesses. More than half of women-owned businesses were in the service sector, including professional services and health care, the Census Bureau reports.