DETROIT (WWJ) – African-American businesses are growing at a rate three times the national average. That’s according to Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ken Harris.

“These are 2012 census study statistics,” explained Harris. “That’s relevant to Michigan because it highlights the fact that there’s more than 79,000 black-owner firms in Michigan; more than 32,000 in the city of Detroit alone, which ranks number four in the entire country.”

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Harris thinks part of the reason for that growth is that many younger adults are choosing to turn an idea they’re passionate about into a business that will sustain them and their families.

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“And, so entrepreneurship is extremely attractive,” said  Ken Harris. “That’s why we have a Chamber of Commerce there now, to really nurture and develop young entrepreneurs; to put the types of resources in place that will allow them to benefit, to build their businesses more than just a one-employee business. But, more importantly, to compete globally.”

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The African-American community represents 1.2 trillion dollars in buying power. At this point, most of that money is spent outside the black community.