Credit the middle market with increasing ownership diversity at a rate that is outstripping the growth in the number of mid-market companies generally.
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, according to the study. Over the same six-year period ended last year, the number of U.S. mid-sized businesses increased by just 4.1%.
Still, among the nearly 137,000 mid-market companies in the U.S. (defined as those with $10 million to $1 billion in revenues) only 6% are women-owned and minority-owned companies comprise only 5%.
But the new report pointed out that, “despite their smaller representation, both groups are generating an outsized portion of revenue and job growth within the middle-market population.”
Revenue rose by 22.7% among women-owned businesses in the six years and 19.3% among minority-owned companies, while overall middle-market revenue actually fell by 2.2% during the period, whose beginning was marked by the Great Recession and whose later years brought only tepid overall U.S. economic growth.
And mid-market women-owned firms employed 23% of the workforce employed nationwide among all women-owned companies and contributed nearly one-third of revenues accounted for by women-owned enterprises, the study said, even though mid-market women-owned firms represented just 0.7% of all women-owned enterprises in the country.
Similarly, minority-owned mid-market firms represented 1.6% of all minority-owned enterprises in the U.S. However, they employed more than one-third of workers accounted for by all minority-owned businesses and generated 42% of the revenues.
Nevertheless, middle market women- and minority-owned companies tend to be smaller than the average middle-market firm in terms of revenue generated and in number of employees. The states with the highest percentage of women-owned middle-market enterprises were Alaska at 13%; Virginia with 11%; Maryland at 9% and Michigan with 9%.
Hawaii led among the states in the highest percentage of minority-owned mid-market firms, with 21%, reflecting its great ethnic diversity, the report said. Alaska had 19%; Virginia, 12%; New Mexico, 11%; and Maryland, 10%.
“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, the business-credit data firm.