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International Women’s Day is March 8. While America has made some wonderful advances as far as leveling the playing field between women and men, we still have a ways to go. We can do better. #BalanceforBetter

Women account for or influence a notable percentage of all buying decisions. While a larger number of entrepreneurs are men, statistics show that female entrepreneurs are growing faster than those of their male counterparts. The Economist predicts that by 2020, the private wealth held by women (globally) is expected to rise to $72 trillion. These statistics support the notion that women play a crucial role in keeping the economy going. Here are some interesting facts and statistics about women in business.

The Senate report on women entrepreneurs focuses on three particularly unique obstacles:

  1. Lack of role models and mentors
  2. Gender pay gap
  3. Unequal access to funding and venture capital

There are 9.1 million women-owned businesses nationwide, employing 7.9 million employees and generating $1.4 trillion in sales.1

According to the “Women-Owned Businesses Report,” approximately 11.6 million businesses in the U.S are women-owned. This number equals an increase of 114% over the past 20 years.

In 2017, women opened an average of 849 businesses per day.2

The top five industries that women start businesses in are health/beauty/fitness, general retail, business services, food/restaurant, and cleaning and maintenance.3

According to a 2016 BNP Global Entrepreneur Report, businesses run by women had 13% higher revenues than those run by men.

UC Davis research pointed to a situation in California, in which no women were among their highest-paid executives in the majority of businesses there. Furthermore, women hold just 12.3% of board seats and executive positions in California.

According to a “Women in the Workplace” study, more than one-third of women believe their gender has held them back from a promotion, while only 8% of men say the same thing.

In the US, a woman makes just 80.5 cents for every dollar that a man makes.4

According to a survey by Guidant Financial, 51% of female business owners were under the age of 50, compared to 44 % of men.

According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, across the nation, more women are attending college than men, and according to a CNBC article and research from the Institute of Family Studies, 2015 marked the first time in history that wives were better educated than their husbands.

13% of women-owned companies have been in business for more than 20 years.5

29% of female entrepreneurs say their company is growing moderately while 28% of men said their businesses are growing moderately.5

62% of women entrepreneurs rely on their business as their primary source of income. This challenges outdated assumption that women entrepreneurs are more likely to run lifestyle businesses that provide only supplemental income or as a hobby, as opposed to serving as a primary source of revenue.6

Only 25% of women seek financing for their business, compared to 34% of men who seek funding for their businesses.5 (Alternate:

Recent findings from a large pool of research including a follow up of the JPMorgan Chase Institute July 2018 report, “Growth, Vitality, and Cash Flows: High-Frequency Evidence from 1 Million Small Businesses” state that women entrepreneurs do not necessarily have better success in working with female mentors (as opposed to male mentors). Rather, that most successful entrepreneurs work with business mentors who are helpful, respectful and open-minded, and that they accurately assess an entrepreneur’s business situation and provide relevant advice.

The first year median revenue for women-owned small businesses was $50,000 compared to more than $75,000 for their male counterpart. In the second year, the growth in revenue goes up to $59K for women and $91K for men.5

Year three and four also favor men owned-businesses as they generated $100K and $105K respectively compared to $65K and $68K for women during the same period.5

Female-led companies tend to experience fewer layoffs, and a study from the Ketchum Leadership Communication Monitor revealed that women are more likely to lead by example and handle crisis calmly.

Women of color own 78% of new women-owned businesses.7


1, accessed March 1, 2019

2 (pdf)

3 (Infographic)



6 (pdf)

7 American Express OPEN, “The 2016 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report,” (April 2016) (online at com/news/docs/2016x/2016SWOB.pdf

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