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The number of franchise businesses owned by women and minorities has never been higher in the U.S.

That’s the big finding in a report commissioned by the International Franchise Association. The IFA published the results of the report, called the Minority and Gender Ownership Study. PricewaterhouseCoopers partnered with the IFA to produce the study, an analysis conducted of the 2012 Survey of Business Owners.

Women and Minorities Franchise Owners Statistics

According to the study, 30.8 percent of franchise businesses in 2012 were owned by minorities. That represents a significant jump from five years before, in 2007. Back then, just 20.5 percent of franchise businesses were minority owned.

By comparison, just 18.8 percent of non-franchise businesses are owned by minorities.

“The franchise business model has solidified its place in our economy as a stable job producer and opportunity engine. Franchising is uniquely situated to create serious economic opportunity in local communities by generating employment and ownership opportunities for those who need them most,” says IFA President and CEO Robert Cresanti. “This report demonstrates how the franchise business model is already working to meet the future challenges of a rapidly growing and diversifying franchise sector with shifting demographics, instituting a business model that achieves a dream for hundreds of thousands of Americans.”

The data shows Hispanic-owned franchise businesses are growing the fastest. In 2007, 5.2 percent of franchise businesses were owned by Hispanics. By 2012, that total doubled to 10.4 percent. Hispanics, African-Americans and Asians were more likely to own a franchise business than a non-franchised business.

Asians own the most franchise businesses among all minority groups included in this new report. The study says Asians own 11.8 percent of franchise businesses. Meanwhile, African-Americans own 8 percent of the franchise businesses in the U.S.

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The same report examined the rise of women-owned franchise businesses in 2012. The report shows 30.6 percent of franchise businesses are women-owned. That figure is up from 20.5 percent just five years before that, a 50 percent increase.

Photo via Shutterstock

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