Maui Business

Hawai‘i Tops List for Minority-Owned Middle Market Firms

September 24, 2015, 8:00 AM HST
* Updated September 23, 2:20 PM
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Dun & Bradstreet image.

Dun & Bradstreet image: Middle Market Power Index: The Growing Economic Clout of Diverse Middle Market Firms report.

The American Express and Dun & Bradstreet Index finds that women- and minority-owned firms nationwide are growing into the middle market at more than five times the rate of all commercially active businesses.over the past six years, according to the report.

Middle market enterprises are defined as those businesses generating between $10 million and $1 billion in revenues.

While the number of all US mid-sized businesses increased by 4.1% from 2008-14, the number of women-owned middle market companies grew by 23.6% and the number of minority-owned middle market companies rose by 22.1% during that period.

Of the estimated 518 middle market firms in Hawai‘i, 41 are owned by women and 108 are owned by multicultural proprietors. The state has a greater-than-average share of middle market firms owned by women—8% compared to the national average of 6%. Hawai‘i also has a greater than average share of multicultural-owned firms– 21% compared to the national average of 5%.

While the national average of women-owned middle market enterprises is 6%, states with the highest percentage of women-owned middle market enterprises include:

  • Alaska (13%)
  • Virginia (11%)
  • Maryland (9%)
  • Michigan (9%)
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In addition to these states, higher than average percentages of women-owned middle market companies exist in the US Virgin Islands (10%) and Puerto Rico (9%).

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States with greater ethnic diversity also enjoy the highest percentage of minority-owned middle market firms:

  • Hawai‘i (21%)
  • Alaska (19%)
  • Virginia (12%)
  • New Mexico (11%)
  • Maryland (10%)

In addition to these states, Puerto Rico also has higher than average percentage of minority-owned middle market businesses (38%).

Women-Owned U.S. Middle Market Firms ($10 million to $999 million)
Number of Middle Market Firms Number of Women-Owned Middle Market Firms Share of Women-Owned Middle Market Firms
US 136,603 8,219 6%
Hawai‘i 518 41 8%
Multicultural-Owned U.S. Middle Market Firms ($10 million to $999 million)
Number of Middle Market Firms Number of Multicultural-Owned Middle Market Firms Share of Multicultural-Owned Middle Market Firms
U.S. 136,603 6,691 8%
Hawai‘i 518 108 21%

“It is exciting to see that women- and minority-owned businesses are now responsible for much of the dynamism in middle market growth,” said Jeff Stibel, vice chairman of Dun & Bradstreet.

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Diverse Enterprises are Driving Revenue and Employment Growth Within the Middle Market and Among Peers

Among the 136,603 middle market companies in the US, women-owned companies make up 6% and minority-owned companies make up 5%. Despite their smaller representation, both groups are generating an outsized portion of revenue and job growth within the middle market population.

  • While overall middle market revenue fell 2.2% between 2008 and 2014, revenue rose 22.7% among women-owned businesses and 19.3% among minority-owned businesses.
  • During that same period, employment in the middle market grew 4.4%, but surged 37.8% among women-owned firms and 38.7% among minority-owned firms—nearly nine times the average rate.

These companies are also driving significant growth among their peers beyond the middle market sector:

  • Middle market women-owned firms represent just .7% of all women-owned enterprises in the US, but employ 23% of the workforce accounted for by all women-owned companies and contribute nearly one-third (32%) of revenues accounted for by women-owned companies.
  • Similarly, minority-owned middle market firms represent 1.6% of all minority-owned enterprises in the US, but employ over one-third (34%) of workers accounted for by all minority-owned businesses and generate 42% of the revenues accounted for by minority-owned businesses.

“This report shines a light on the substantial contributions that diverse middle market businesses have made to the country’s overall economic health over the past six years,” said Susan Sobbott, president, Global Corporate Payments, American Express. “The analysis shows women and minority-owned companies are punching above their weight and fueling all-around growth in the middle market.”

Women- and Minority-Owned Middle Market Companies Have Room to Grow
Most middle market enterprises fall within the lower end of the revenue size spectrum, with more than half (51%) generating revenues between $10 million and $19.9 million. Middle market women-owned and minority-owned companies are smaller than the average middle market firm in terms of revenue generated and in number of employees.

  • As of 2014, 61% of women-owned middle market firms generate between $10 million and $19.9 million in revenues, 32% generate between $20 million and $49.9 million, and just 6% generate between $50 million and $1 billion. Additionally, only 7% of women-owned firms employ 500 or more employees – compared to 15% of middle market companies overall.
  • Minority-owned middle market businesses are only slightly larger than women-owned firms, with, as of 2014, 56% generating between $10 million and $19.9 million in revenues, 33% between $20 million and $49.9 million, and 11% between $50 million and $1 billion. Looking at employment size, just 9% of minority-owned middle market companies employ 500 or more workers.

The complete analysis can be found the just-released Middle Market Power Index: The Growing Economic Clout of Diverse Middle Market Firms report from American Express and Dun & Bradstreet. This third report in a unique series uses Dun & Bradstreet’s proprietary databases of commercially active US firms to analyze the characteristics and economic impact of diverse middle market enterprises—businesses generating between $10 million and $1 billion in revenues.

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