Facts About Women-Owned Businesses

Each year, the Center for Women’s Business Research prints cards providing the Key Facts About Women-Owned Businesses. The 2007 fact cards are actually small brochures that can be purchased in packs of 100 for $70. The Center for Women’s Business Research suggests handing the cards out in meetings or conferences, but I also like the idea of including one of the cards in business plans, business correspondence and more. When I read the facts on the cards, I couldn’t help but think of so many ways the cards or simply the information on the cards could be used to benefit a female entrepreneur or businesswomen’s organization.

First, let’s take a look at the statistics included on the 2007 Key Facts About Women-Owned Businesses cards:

The Overall Picture
  • Nearly 10.4 million firms are owned by women (50% or more), employing more than 12.8 million people, and generating $1.9 trillion in sales.
  • Three quarters of all women-owned businesses are majority owned by women (51% or more), for a total of 7.7 million firms, employing more than 7.1 million people, and generating $1.1 trillion in sales.
  • For the past two decades, majority women-owned firms have continued to grow at around two times the rate of all firms (42% vs. 24%).
  • Women-owned firms, 50% or more owned by women, account for 41% of all privately held firms.
Businesses Owned by Women of Color
  • There are 2.4 million firms owned 50% or more by women of color in the U.S., employing 1.6 million people and generating nearly $230 billion in sales annually.
  • Between 1997 and 2006 the number of privately held firms 51% or more owned by women of color grew five times faster than all privately held firms (120% vs. 24%).
  • Women of color own 42% of all firms owned by persons of color, up from 36% in 2004.
  • Asian women employer firms have the highest survival rate of all women-owned firms: 77% of their businesses in operation in 1997 remained in business in 2000.
Technology and Business Growth
  • The vast majority (83%) of women business owners are personally involved in selecting and purchasing technology for their businesses.
  • Women business owners’ top concerns about technology are the protection and security of data.
    • Security of internet purchase: 82%
    • Computer viruses: 81%
    • Protecting business data: 77%
    • General system failure: 73%
  • Contrary to common perception, women business owners are as likely as men business owners to be willing to adopt new technology and more likely (24% vs. 18%) than women in general.
  • Women business owners value technology as a means to create workplace flexibility:
    • 61% use technology to integrate the responsibilities of work and home.
    • 44% use technology to enable employees to work offsite or to have flexible work schedules.
Million Dollar Businesses
  • 3% of all women-owned firms have revenues of $1 million or more compared with 6% of men-owned firms.
  • Women-owned firms with revenues of $1 million or more are more likely than other women-owned businesses to market their products and services nationally.
  • Women owners of firms with revenues of $1 million or higher embrace financial measurements as management tools and produce more financial reports more often.
Women-Owned Businesses Without Employees
  • Seventy-five percent of all firms do not have employees; similarly, 81% of women-owned firms are without employees, for a total of 5.4 million firms.
  • Sales revenue increased 66% for women-owned firms without employees from 1997-2004, compared to 42% for all such firms.
  • Women-owned firms without employees generate more than $167 billion in annual sales (as of 2004).
Exit Strategies of Women Business Owners
  • Women and men business owners are equally concerned about price when selling their business.
  • Women owners who plan to sell are more concerned than their men counterparts about:
    • the buyer’s identity, personality, and background 72% vs. 39%
    • the buyer’s plans for the business 79% vs. 52%
    • plans for current employees 86% vs. 61%
  • Women business owners are nearly twice as likely as men business owners to intend to pass the business on to a daughter or daughters (37% vs. 19%).
Banking and Finance
  • Women business owners’ satisfaction with banking relationships has more than doubled since 1992 (35% vs. 82%).
  • More than two-thirds (67%) of women business owners choose financial products and services based on their relationship and experience with a lender.
  • Women business owners who obtained capital persevered, making an average of four attempts to obtain bank loans or lines of credit and 22 attempts to obtain equity capital.
Characteristics of Women Business Owners
  • Women business owners are prepared to face risk: most (66%) are willing to take above average or substantial risks for business investments.
  • Women and men business owners have different management styles. Women emphasize relationship building as well as fact gathering and are more likely to consult with experts, employees, and fellow business owners.
  • Women owners of firms with $1 million or more in revenue are more likely to belong to formal business organizations, associations or networks than other women business owners (81% vs. 61%).

Let’s brainstorm some ways these facts could be used to benefit a woman in business. I’ll start with some ideas related to obtaining financing, loans or capital:

  • Citing the statistic that women-owned businesses grow at a rate two times faster than all firms could help secure a bank loan, obtain capital investments, secure advertisers, and more. The possibilities are endless given the security inherent in this statistic.Â
  • An Asian woman presenting her business plan to a bank with the desire to secure a loan to jumpstart her business could reference the statistic that 77% of Asian-women-owned businesses stay in business more than 3 years (the typical mark of survival). This statistic might sway the bank in favor of approving the loan because statistically, funding this woman’s business might be less risky than others.
  • Sales revenue increased more than 30% higher for women-owned firms without employees than other firms. Again, this sales growth statistic could be referenced to lenders or other financial organizations or business partners to demonstrate the growth potential of a woman-owned business thereby making it a less risky investment than another non-woman-owned business.

What other ways can you think of to use the statistics on the fact cards from the Center for Women’s Business Research to help businesswomen or businesswomen’s groups?

Susan Gunelius

Susan Gunelius is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Women on Business. She is a 20-year veteran of the marketing field and has authored ten books about marketing, branding, and social media, including the highly popular 30-Minute Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing for Dummies, Blogging All-in-One for Dummies and Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps. Susan’s marketing-related content can be found on Entrepreneur.com, Forbes.com, MSNBC.com, BusinessWeek.com, and more. Susan is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She has worked in corporate marketing roles and through client relationships with AT&T, HSBC, Citibank, Intuit, The New York Times, Cox Communications, and many more large and small companies around the world. Susan also speaks about marketing, branding and social media at events around the world and is frequently interviewed by television, online, radio, and print media organizations about these topics. She holds an MBA in Management and Strategy and a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing.

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