Economic Development

Women-Owned Businesses Grow to 9.4M in U.S.

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Women entrepreneurs now own 30% of all enterprises in the United States and have started, on average, 887 net new firms per day last year, according to the 2015 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 in many regions women-owned businesses have surpassed their pre-recession levels of revenue and employment growth.

Today there are just over 9.4 million women-owned businesses in the United States, generating nearly $1.5 trillion in revenues and employing more than 7.9 million people.

Ohio has an estimated 292,400 women-owned firms, employing 288,100 and generating about $52 billion in annual sales, the report finds.

The number of women-owned firms has increased by 21% since 2007. Over the entire 18-year period from 1997 to 2015 women-owned businesses have:

  • Increased in number by 74%,
  • Grown revenues by 79%, and
  • Added nearly 1 million (847,000) more jobs.

“Women-owned businesses are key contributors to the post-recession recovery,” said Lisette Bernstein, Vice President at American Express OPEN. “With this report, we hope to draw attention to the growing diversity of women-owned enterprises and inspire even more women entrepreneurs to reach their full potential.”

Within the population of women-owned firms, a major driver of growth and diversity is multicultural enterprises. In 1997 there were 929,445 multicultural women-owned firms, accounting for one in six (17%) women-owned firms. That number has skyrocketed to an estimated 3,111,300 as of 2015, now comprising one in three (33%) women-owned firms.

These 3.1 million multicultural firms employ 1.6 million workers in addition to the owner and generate an estimated $268 billion in revenues. And, looking at just the past year, nearly 500 of the 887 net new women-owned firms started each day were started by minority women – for a 55% majority of net new women-owned firms.

The industries with the highest concentration of women-owned firms are health care and social assistance (53% of firms in this sector are women-owned, compared to a 30% share overall), educational services (45%), other services (42%), and administrative support and waste management services (37%).

The State of Women-Owned Business Report, commissioned by American Express OPEN, is based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, specifically its Survey of Business Owner, which is conducted every five years in years ending in 2 and 7.

SOURCE: State of Women-Owned Business Report

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.