This is Women’s History Month, which is a great time to consider the impact of women in businesses.
According to the 3rd Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs, the U.S. is ranked the best country for female entrepreneurship, followed by New Zealand, Canada, and Israel.
So how are we doing?
Statistics on women-owned businesses in the U.S.
According to Fundera, 40% of all U.S. businesses are women-owned. These businesses generate $1.8 trillion a year (although this is just 4.3% of total private sector annual revenue). Women are continuing to start businesses en masse, with 1,821 new businesses every day. So what’s so unique about women-owned businesses?
Great performance. When tech companies are owned by women, they have a 35% higher return on investment as compared with tech companies owned by men. Also, women-founded companies that obtained venture capital outperformed those founded by men by 62%.
Less reliance on outside capital. Only a quarter of women-owners took business loans, compared with one-third of men. Is this good or bad? Women have been complaining about their lack of access to capital. They receive only 7% of venture capital for startups, but have received 57.4% of SBA Microloans. But statistics show women ask for less money when borrowing than men. Whether women continue to face challenges in getting financing remains to be seen.
Women role models
There are certainly numerous women who have hit it big in business. In the past, there were some legendary women entrepreneurs, including Madam C.J. Walker (hair-care and cosmetics), Elizabeth Arden (cosmetics), Olive Ann Beech (aircraft), Estee Lauder (cosmetics), Lillian Vernon (mail order), and Ruth Handler (Barbie doll creator).
Today, some of the top female entrepreneurs in the U.S. include Arianna Huffington (founder of The Huffington Post), Debbie Fields (Mrs. Fields Bakeries), Susan Blakely (founder of Spanx), Anne Wojcicki (23andMe), Martha Stewart (cooking), and Oprah Winfrey.
Resources for women-owned businesses
Women just starting a business or trying to grow have access to free help from:
- DreamBuilder, the Women’s Business Creator (curriculum on business ownership)
- Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO)
- Startups.com (grants for women)
- Women’s Business Centers
Find other helpful links through the SBA portal for women-owned businesses.
“People don’t take opportunities because the timing is bad, the financial side unsecure. Too many people are over-analyzing. Sometimes you just have to go for it.” – Michelle Zatlyn, Co-founder of CloudFlare