For many women, small business ownership is the gateway to financial stability for themselves and their family. However, prior to 1988, a woman could not get a business loan on her own! In the 31 years since the passing of the Women’s Business Ownership Act (HR 5050), the United States’ landmark federal legislation which allowed women to take out business loans without a male relative as a co-signer, women have made great strides in the field of entrepreneurship and as business owners. This is affirmed by the impact of women-owned businesses (WOB) on the economy. Based on current data on business ownership in the United States, women business owners are closing the achievement gap with their male counterparts with the number of WOB growing at a rate five times the national average from 2007 to 2016. Women-owned businesses currently make up 39% of U.S. 28 million small businesses (Source: SCORE’s Spring 2018 “The Megaphone of Main Street”). There are an estimated 11.6 million WOB generating $1.7 trillion+ in revenues and employing almost 9 million people as of 2017(Source: The State of Women-Owned Businesses, 2017, Commissioned by American Express).
Inspiring Facts about Female Entrepreneurship:
Women-owned businesses (WOB) have grown 114% versus the overall national growth rate of 44% for all businesses over the past two decades (1997-2017). (Source: The State of Women-Owned Businesses, 2017, Commissioned by American Express)
Women owned approximately 20% of all employer businesses nationwide in 2015. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs)
Women-owned employer businesses increased to 1.12 million in 2016 (approximately 2.8% increase from 2015). (Source: U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs)
Women of color business owners accounted for 46% of all WOB and 25.9% of W-O employer firms. (Source: The State of Women-Owned Businesses, 2017, Commissioned by American Express).
Women’s early-stage entrepreneurship has increased by increased by 15.4% from the 2016 rate and 29.1% from the 2007 rate. (Source: Kauffman Indicators of Entrepreneurship: Early-Stage Entrepreneurship in the United States, 2017)
As we celebrate the achievements of women businesses owners, let’s take a moment to acknowledge the trailblazing female entrepreneurs, business owners and advocates who contributed to the passing of the Women’s Business Ownership Act.
Witness first-hand the impact of women business owners and meet Washington Women’s Business Center Program Director, Susan Perreault at Celebrating Dreams on May 30th!
About the author
Susan Perreault, DBA is the Vice President of Programs at Business Impact NW. Prior to joining BINW, Ms. Perreault earned a doctorate in business administration and spent the majority of her career as a serial entrepreneur and in senior management positions in the professional beauty industry. As a business owner, she understands how difficult it can be to start and run a business. Susan’s extensive business experience, interests, and academic training have prepared her to coach business owners in a broad range of areas including business administration, organizational leadership, entrepreneurship, operations management, distribution, marketing, sales, strategic management, and international business.