The Economic Impact of Women-Owned Businesses in the United States

Via The NWBC

For the first time, the Center for Women’s Business Research, has utilized a methodology to measure the economic impact of the 8 million U.S. businesses currently majority women-owned. Today, women-owned firms have an economic impact of $3 trillion that translates into the creation and/or maintenance of 23 million jobs, 16 percent of all U.S. jobs. 
These jobs not only sustain the individual worker, but contribute to the economic security of their families, the economic vitality of their communities and the nation.

Here are the items of interest and opportunities that I see coming out of this research study:

The Center for Women’s Business Research was founded on a belief that women business owners were not being recognized for their contribution to creating and maintaining a healthy and nimble national economy. The Center’s first major piece of research was to document the existence of – and thereby legitimize –larger businesses owned and run by women (previously Census did not collect “C Corp” data by gender. 

Most of the legislation, programming and women-business-owner advocacy organizations use the work of the Center for Women’s Business Research to provide the rationale for recommendations for programs and policies that support women-owned businesses. It is extremely gratifying to see the Center for Women’s Business Research again at the leading edge of producing data and knowledge that continues to make the world aware of the importance and value-add of women-owned firms.
This is brand new knowledge. We’ve never had information that reflected the overall economic impact of women-owned firms. By default, we used total annual revenues which were available from Census. Previously, the Center, using a proprietary forecasting model, projected these revenues every couple of years.
The significance of the total amount of economic impact – $2.86 trillion – once again proves that women-owned firms are not a small, niche market but are a major contributor and player in the overall economy.
It reveals again the magnitude of importance that small business plays in the overall economy.

According to SBA’s Office of Advocacy, 99.7 percent of all employer firms are classified as “small businesses (less than 500 employees);” small businesses employ 51% of all people; have generated nearly two-thirds (64%) of net new jobs over the past decade and a half; and produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms. 

From 1997- 2002, women-owned firms were growing at twice the rate of all other groups and while the current economic woes have dampened business growth for all segments, women continue to keep pace. 

However, in most public conversations and in most people’s minds, the important player in the economy is the large corporations – which only account for .03 percent of all firms and employ fewer people than small businesses do in total. 

This research illuminates the economic reality and calls for changing the conversation at a policy level and in the public sphere.