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More women than ever are dreaming big and opening up their own businesses these days. Since 1997, there has been a wealth of start-ups owned by women in the U.S. In an economy that never stops changing, this is a great sign for the future of all businesses.
According to the 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report from American Express OPEN, there are over 8.6 million women-owned businesses currently operating in the United States. In fact, from 1997 to 2013, women-owned business increased in number by 59%, more than all other categories of small businesses put together. We are witnessing an important trend with many underlying causes and effects.
The American Express OPEN survey thoroughly covered all companies owned by women, their effects on the economy as a whole, and a number of geographic, industry-specific and owner ethnicity related topics as well. Thanks to this study, we know that women-owned businesses are generating more than $1.3 trillion in revenues annually and are employing nearly 7.8 million of people, a hiring trend that continued despite the down economy. Susan Sobbott, President of American Express OPEN said: “The report underlines the important role women-owned firms have played throughout the economic recovery. Women-owned businesses have been net job creators since 2007, a distinction shared by only large, publicity traded companies.”
Where are all these women-owned businesses located? Everywhere, as their numbers line up neatly with the current most populous states: California is first in line with ambitious, entrepreneurial women, followed by Texas in second place.
And what industries are these businesses in? Again, everywhere; they are spread across all industries and all company sizes, though most (17%) are in health care or social services-related businesses (though this segment covers everything from doctors and dentists to child and residential care facilities).
The future is bright for women entrepreneurs everywhere. With groups like Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) providing education, networking opportunities and certification programs, and an increased interest in supplier diversity from all levels of government and large corporations, the support system is already in place for the next generation of women business owners to keep making strides, growing and buoying the global economy.
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