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Power Play Minority women entrepreneurs thrive in the United States.

By Charlotte Mulhern

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Chalk another one up for minority women-owned businesses.According to a recent study by the National Foundation for WomenBusiness Owners (NFWBO), this once-underrated segment of theworking population is making fast strides in the businessworld.

Basing its findings on the most current U.S. Census dataavailable, the NFWBO estimates that today, more than 1 million U.S.businesses are owned by minority women; these firms employ 1.7million people; and they generate approximately $184 billion insales. Additionally, the study reports that the number of minoritywomen-owned firms is increasing three times faster than businessesoverall.

Why all the recent success? "Some minority womenentrepreneurs have been in the corporate world and have hitcorporate glass ceilings," explains Cecilia Conrad, seniorresearch associate at the Joint Center for Political and EconomicStudies. "But because they have a sense of their ownproductivity and have connections, they see themselves as able togo off and start their own businesses."

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