The Small Business Association (SBA) has designated October as National Women’s Small Business month. There are nearly 10 billion women-owned businesses in the United States and 99% of them are small businesses. This sector is steadily growing, with more women opening small businesses every year. To celebrate National Women’s Small Business Month, we are diving into some important facts about women-owned small businesses.
About one-third of all women-owned businesses are minority-owned. However, that number is rising rapidly. Women of color are opening new businesses at a steady rate. In fact, 71% of all recently opened women-owned businesses are led by women of color.
Between 2007 and 2017 alone, the number of Black-owned, female-owned businesses grew over 600%, while the number of Caucasian-owned businesses only grew by 39%.
The top industry that women are involved in is health care and social assistance, with over 187,000 businesses and 1.7 million employees. Women are helping to grow this industry by leaps and bounds –nearly 55% across all healthcare and social assistance firms.
Women are also incredibly active in the accommodation and food services industry with 109,000 companies that employ over 1.4 million individuals.
The Harvard Business Review (HBR) found that women are rated very highly when it comes to leadership roles. Employees believe women leaders to be especially driven, inspirational, and communicative. In many of the leadership competencies that the HBR reviewed, women actually outscored their male counterparts.
In addition, many women-led companies are more capital efficient. Studies have found that technology companies have seen up to 35% higher return on investment when they are women-owned or women-led.
Work-Life Balance and Satisfaction
Entrepreneurship has a positive effect on many women’s overall life satisfaction, but especially their work-life balance. 78% of female entrepreneurs with established business believe that they have ideal work-life balance.
Finding this balance can be more challenging than ever in today’s world where many employees are expected to be “on” 24/7. Owning a business gives women the freedom and flexibility they need to meet their own needs.
Challenges for Women Business Owners
While the outlook for women-owned businesses is generally very good, there are still challenges for female entrepreneurs. One of the biggest hurdles is finding funding. Studies show that men are nearly twice as likely to raise $100,000 or more in funding.
Women also face a larger challenge in finding or creating a support system, which is why peer female mentorship is so important. In general, businesses owners are more likely to create thriving businesses when they have mentors who are invested in their success.
At Applied Development, we are proud to be a woman-owned small business. CEO, Kimberly Citizen, believes strongly in mentorship for other woman business owners and is active in the Baltimore business community.