I am continually surprised by how many people disregard whole segments of various domestic markets (or global markets) because they don’t believe there are any opportunities there. There are tons of examples of companies that, with a diverse perspective, unearth huge opportunities where others don’t look. You will read about a bunch of them in the blog. Well – here is an interesting Business Week article with statistics that will probably open the eyes for yet a few more people (hat tip: Chris Yeh) It shows the incredible growth the US has seen in minority-owned businesses. Some relevant quotes:
US entrepreneurs are often described as one of the primary drivers of the nation's economy. For starters, small outfits create some 75% of all new jobs, represent 99.7% of all employers, and employ 50% of the private workforce, according to the Small Business Administration. However, today, the biggest driver within the small-business sector appears to be minority-owned businesses. And there is some fairly dramatic data to support this emerging trend.
According to a series of recent surveys released by the US Census Bureau, between 1997 and 2002, the total number of US businesses grew by 10%. However, during the same time period, Asian-owned firms increased by 24%, Hispanic-owned businesses by 31%, and African-American-owned firms spiked 45%.
According to the Census data, Asian-American-owned businesses grew at twice the national rate compared with all US companies. The 1.1 million Asian-owned firms produced $326 billion in revenues in 2002, up 8% from 1997. The nearly 1.6 million Latino-owned businesses generated $222 billion in revenue in 2002, a 19% increase from 1997. Finally, the 1.2 million African-American-owned businesses earned $89 billion in 2002, a jump of 25%.
There are individuals, teams and firms that understand the implications of this because of their approach to diversity. They are the ones that will find and innovate new growth opportunities.