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State of the State: Small Business

The growth of women-owned Hispanic businesses hasn't escaped the notice of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which included a Latina Summit in September when it met in Denver for its 30th annual convention.

Businesses owned by Hispanic women represent more than one third of all Hispanic-owned businesses and have grown by nearly 125 percent in the past decade, according to a report by the Center for Women's Business Research.

"It was important to recognize the powerful influence this segment of our population has on our business community," said Elizabeth Vasquez Gallagher, USHCC vice chair and chair of the Latina Summit, in a statement issued after the event. "After all, it's Latinas who are leading the way in Hispanic small-business growth."

Nearly 5,000 people attended the four-day conference, which featured talks on procurement, technology, health care and environment. Among the highlights was the announcement of a partnership between the Wells Fargo Foundation, KPMG and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber and its partners launched a research program designed to garner information to help Hispanic-owned businesses increase their success as the country emerges from the recession. Preliminary results are expected in November, and the complete results are scheduled to be published in March.

- Mike Cote

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