Women Business Owners

Women Starting New Businesses

Women Flexing Their Economic Muscle, Starting More than 1,200 New Businesses Per Day, According to New Research    
by VERGE Staff | Career | Monday, March 31, 2014 

Women are starting 1,288 (net) new businesses per day, which is double the rate from only three years ago, according to the 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, commissioned by American Express OPEN. The report includes detailed analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau and finds that during the past 17 years, the number of women-owned businesses has increased at 1.5 times the national average.

As daily business creation hits a record pace, the number of women-owned firms reached a new milestone in 2014. The fourth annual report estimates that there are more than 9.1 million women-owned businesses in the United States (compared to 8.6 million in 2013). These businesses generate more than $1.4 trillion in revenues, employ 7.9 million people and account for 30% of all enterprises. During the past 17 years, women-owned businesses have steadily increased their influence on the U.S. economy. 

Since 1997 women-owned firms have:

increased in number by 68%,

grown revenues by 72%, and

added 11% more jobs.

In regard to job creation, these businesses have emerged from the recent recession as second only to publicly-traded companies in the U.S. with 274,000 net new jobs since 2007. “The report clearly shows that women are choosing the path of entrepreneurship at record rates,” said Randi Schochet, Vice President, Brand Strategy and Activation, American Express OPEN. “Imagine the economic impact if more of these new ventures were transformed into thriving businesses. This is why American Express OPEN remains so passionately dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs become successful business owners.”

Firms Owned by Women of Color Experience Greatest Growth

From 1997 to 2014, the number of firms owned by women of color skyrocketed 216% from just under one million to an estimated 2,934,500 (compared to 68% for all women-owned firms in the same period). Businesses owned by women of color jumped from one-in-six (17%) of all women-owned firms to one-in-three (32%) in the same time period. Growth in employment (85%) and revenues (168%) of firms owned by women of color topped growth rates of all women-owned firms (10% and 63% respectively) by wide margins.

Geographic Trends
The states with the fastest and lowest growth in the number of women-owned businesses or firms between 1997 and 2014 include:

women business1women business 2

The states with the highest and lowest combined economic clout for women-owned firms – a measurement averaging the rankings in growth in number, revenues and employment of women-owned businesses from 1997-2014 are:

women business A
women business B

Of the 25 most populous metropolitan areas, the cities with the highest and lowest combined economic clout for women-owned firms – a measurement averaging the rankings in growth in number, revenues and employment of women-owned businesses from 2002-2014 are:

women businesses cities1
women businesses citiesB

The Fourth Annual State of Women-Owned Businesses Report compares performance of women entrepreneurs by state and major metropolitan areas. The report was published in March 2014, and was prepared for American Express OPEN.  To help women business owners reach their full potential, American Express OPEN launched OPEN for Women: CEO BootCamp, which is designed to immerse women CEOs in the fundamental pillars for success: confidence, competence, and connections. The initiative, now in its second year, works with leading academics, major advocacy organizations, and a who’s who of visionaries to help women entrepreneurs grow their businesses through live events, exclusive content, and online networking communities. 

Photo credit: ©iStock/Michael Krinke


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