You generally don’t read a lot of good statistics about women in business in the United States. The stories are, unfortunately, usually about the wage gap or sexual harassment. It’s depressing.
That’s why I love this Thompson Reuters article by Ellen Wolfhorst. Ellen refers to a study published January 6, 2016 by the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) that says that one-third of all U.S. businesses are owned by women. That’s a 27 percent increase from 2009. And even more encouraging is the fact that the rate is growing faster than that of male-owned businesses. This is amazing! Only one in ten of the women-owned businesses had employees, so most are sole proprietorships.
According to the NWBC, online sales platforms like Etsy and eBay have been great resources for women to get started in the business world. NWBC spokesperson Amanda Brown notes that, “With technology in general, there’s so much more you can do online and from your home.”
Unfortunately only one in ten of these businesses has employees. Amanda notes that, “While the growing number of women-owned businesses is encouraging, the high percentage of those without employees means these businesses are not creating jobs for others.”
Carla Harris, the chairwoman for the NWBC said in the report that, "There is great progress and a steep growth trajectory—but we have yet to see women-owned and women-led firms given the access and opportunity to live up to their fullest potential."
So we still have a long way to go, but progress is a great thing! In the immortal words of the Eurythmics and Aretha Franklin, "Sisters are doin' it for themselves."
Bonus info: If you’re thinking about taking the plunge and starting your own business, or if you’re already there but thinking about refinancing, check out this Nerdwallet post on the best places for women to get a small business loan. The post has options for all types of situations, from those who want to start retail businesses to those with startup ideas. They even provide options for those with bad credit. Do your homework and get going!