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African American Women-Owned Businesses

Numbers and Characteristics

  • There are 911,728 African American women-owned businesses in the United States.  This reflects a tremendous 66.7% increase in number since 2002 and a 191.4% increase since 1997.  In comparison, African American men-owned businesses grew 93.1% from 1997 to 2007.
  • African American women-owned firms across the country have total receipts of $36.8 billion.  The total receipts of African American women-owned firms grew 78.1% since 2002.
  • Women-owned firms make up 47.4% of all African American nonfarm businesses across the country.
  • A full 96.5% of these firms are non-employer firms, with average receipts of $15,618.
  • The remaining 3.5% of the firms have paid employees, employing a total of 245,474 people across the country with a payroll of $5.6 billion.  These employer firms have average receipts of $718,374.



  • Slightly more than one in 10 (11.7%) of all women-owned firms across the country are owned by African American women.
  • The South has the highest representation (17.2%) followed by the Midwest and Northeast (both 11.1%), and the West (4.4%).
  • The states with the largest number of African American women-owned businesses are: New York (98,877), Georgia (88,920), and Florida (86,001).



  • The top industries for African American women include: health care and social assistance (32.3% of all African American WOBs are in this sector), other services (23.0%), and administrative and support and waste management and remediation services (9.8%).
  • Industries least represented by African American WOBs include management of companies and enterprises (less than .01%), utilities (.04%), agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting (.08%), and manufacturing (.68%).