More and more individuals are making the decision to leave corporate America behind and take on the venture of becoming an entrepreneur. The freedom to pursue your passion while taking control of your finances can be rewarding and offer a sense of power.

What is more exciting is the growing diversity among U.S. entrepreneurs including the fact that more African American women are stepping up to the plate!

The 2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report commissioned by American Express OPEN, with research provided by Womenable, was recently published May 2015. The purpose of this report is to share current entrepreneurial statistics of women in the United States.

The report shows that the number of businesses owned by African American women have grown 322 percent since 1997, where non-minority groups have only grown 40% in this same time frame. This is a huge leap!

“In 1997, there were just under 1 million (929,445) firms owned by minority women, accounting for one in six (17%) women-owned firms. That number has skyrocketed to an estimated 3,111,300 as of 2015, now comprising one in three (33%) women-owned firms.”

However, even with this tremendous increase of businesses over the last 20 years, we are still a small piece of the pie when looking at the total number of entrepreneurs. 30% of all U.S. businesses are owned by women and 14% of this number is accounted for by black women.

In comparison to other minority groups, African American women come in the lead in terms of revenue and number of businesses.

Georgia, Maryland and Illinois have the highest concentration of black woman-owned businesses, but African American women are launching companies in high numbers all across the country.

Fortune magazine reported Margot Dorfman, CEO of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, has seen an increase in membership from Black women. So not only are we increasing in business numbers, we are also increasing in membership to organizations which help to promote women’s economic priorities.

Shouts to all the black women out there who are owning it! Keep up the good work!