Women Outnumber Men in Small Business Ownership

It may surprise you to learn that of new businesses formed, a majority of them are women-owned. According to an April 2017 Forbes.com article, while national new-business formation rates were at 9% in 2016, a whopping 45% were women-owned businesses! In fact, there are 11.3 million women-owned business in the US that provide 9 million jobs and generate $1.6 trillion in revenue. The numbers are even more impressive for minority-owned women business owners, with nearly eight out of ten female owned businesses being founded by women of color between 2007 and 2016.

Interestingly though, women-owned businesses only contribute 4% overall to the American economy and employ 8% of the work-force. This can be explained by a number of factors, including many that affect women throughout the work force. Limited access to quality and affordable child care, for starters, prevents many women owned businesses from growing and expanding. More consequentially, women receive less investment funding compared to their male counterparts. Less than 3% of all venture capital distributed in 2016 went to women-owned businesses. Another reason cited for lower growth and revenue numbers is that women-owned businesses are generally more focused on running companies that are mission-driven first, growth and profit driven second.*

Given the huge number of women interested in running and owning their own businesses, there is hope that some of these trends will change and become more favorable. If you are interested in learning more about opening your own business or the challenges related to running a business as a woman, be sure to join the alumni Women’s Professional Alliance on Tuesday, June 6 at 6:30 pm for their “Women Business Owners” event. The program will feature panelists discussing their experiences as a business owner and the unique challenges and opportunities they encounter. Learn more and register here.

*Data sourced from Forbes.com and BusinessRecord.com.

By Grace Goodman
Grace Goodman Assistant Director, Alumni Career & Professional Development Grace Goodman