Women Business Owners Continue to Thrive
By Gerry Myers

Women are starting businesses at twice the rate of men, and have for the past several years. For the last 15 years of the Twentieth Century, the number of women-owned firms increased 103 percent, employment grew at a rate of 320 percent and sales skyrocketed 436 percent. Today, there are 9.1 million women business owners (WBOs) who employ 27.5 million people and generate $3.6 trillion in revenue annually.

Over the last decade, the number of women-owned firms increased two-and-a-half times faster than all U.S. businesses. Employment in women-owned firms grew more than three times the rate for all firms. Payroll in women-owned firms grew at almost twice the rate for all firms. Within a few years, it is projected that women will account for half of all small businesses, as well as a growing number of mega-companies.

Women-owned firms are continuing to diversify into many industries long considered "non-traditional" for women or "male-only" types of businesses. Construction, manufacturing and transportation have experienced the most growth. Based on the number of women-owned firms, number of employees and sales revenues, California, New York, Florida and Texas rank as the top four states for WBOs.

Technology Continues to Play a Major Role in the Growth of Women Owned Businesses

Women business owners’ economic clout and business-related purchases continue to swell. It is estimated that women business owners will spend $33.5 billion this year on telecommunications equipment, enhanced services and Internet access, according to The Insight Research Corporation. By 2005 women business owners, one of the fastest growing segments in the telecommunications customer base, will nearly double their telecommunications purchases.

Did You Know...

Women entrepreneurs' backgrounds are:

Management 25%
Sales 21%
Accounting/finance 18%
Marketing 6%
Engineering/manufacturing 4%
Human Resources 3%
Other 23%

What women like about being entrepreneurs:

Being their own boss 20%
Setting their own hours 17%
Controlling their destiny 17%
Pleasing customers 16%
Having independence 16%
Making decisions 15%
Achieving goals 10%


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