Every day women are starting new
businesses in every corner of this country. Like any other business
owner, female business-owners grapple with many decisions to ensure
success. They ask themselves the same questions as their male
counterparts: Do I have the right product? Am I balancing the right revenue
sharing? Did I learn enough in school? Despite the difficult economic
climate during the recent recession, women-owned businesses performed just
as well as men-owned businesses during the period 2007 – 2010, and in many
cases outperformed their peers.
This week the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC),
released newly analyzed data demonstrating that although women-owned businesses are doing well, they tend to
struggle with some of the key obstacles in growing their businesses.
Some of those struggles are within the basics of business development - business
performance, revenue distribution and industry participation.
One of the glaring challenges in the data
shows that while it is clear that women are the fastest growing segment of
entrepreneurs, challenges persist in growing in size (revenues) and gaining
market share to compete equally with their male counterparts. In fact, this
data shows that women-owned businesses tend to be overly-present in
low-income industries and disproportionately absent in high-income
It’s also interesting to note that
education does not necessarily improve success in business for
women. Overall, slightly fewer women business owners had a
bachelor’s degree than men business owners. Having an
advanced degree is noticeably not a requirement for success in business as
many industries have less than 6% of their owners with a degree.
Among those industries that do have owners with the highest levels of
education, the industries dominated by women-owned businesses rank in the
top three, with over 80% of owners having at least a bachelor’s degree.
Despite these higher levels of education, women-owned firms do not have the
same outcomes in higher revenues as men-owned firms across almost every
Addressing the possible reasons behind
this revenue gap is an area in which NWBC is currently analyzing and will
be releasing findings as part of this infographic series throughout the
Another important revelation in data is
the age gap among women business owners. Women-owned businesses tend to
have younger owners than businesses owned by men, or equally owned by
women. Self-employed businesses also tend to have younger owners than
employer firms, where less than 10% of owners are under the age of 35.
And with little mentorship of women at executive levels, this gap is an
important one to be evaluated.
Although the glass ceiling continues to
be prevalent in our economy for many women, there is good news.
Today’s analysis shows that women-owned businesses lost a smaller share of
jobs than their male counterparts during the recession. This shows that
as women-owned businesses expand, they are doing so in a way that maintains
the broader economic impact of job creation. This, as
well as stories of women entrepreneurs and business owners such as
National Women’s Business Council members Lisa Price, Sarah Fisher, Kimberly Blackwell and others who
continue to flourish, demonstrate that women-owned businesses make a real
difference in our economy.
About Anie J. Borja, Executive Director
Anie Borja is the Executive Director of
the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC). Anie also has worked closely
on initiatives with the White House and managed outreach to thousands of
small business owners. She has advised nonprofit organizations, helping to
build infrastructure, operations and business development strategies. She
also served as a financial advisor at Credit Suisse, developing client
relationships to secure new business and manage investment portfolios. Ms.
Borja earned an MBA in finance and management from New York University
Stern School of Business and a bachelor’s degree from University of
California Los Angeles.