Female Owned Businesses a Haven for Advancement
Jim Hopkins, writing in USA TODAY, says a study by the Center for Women's Business Research shows that the number of companies owned 50% or more by women last year jumped 11% from 1997, to 10.1 million, nearly twice the growth rate of all companies. About one of every 10 U.S. adults is a business owner, the center says. Though it did not calculate a separate rate for men, "that figure likely is higher than the rate for women," executive director Sharon Hadary says.
Growth in the number of female-owned businesses has outstripped all firms partly because women, compared with men, see more obstacles to advancement in big companies, says Myra Hart, chair of the women's research center and a professor at Harvard Business School. As with many of the USA's more than 20 million companies, female-owned businesses are often tiny, home-based operations with few employees.
- Annual revenue at female-owned firms last year rose 32% from 1997, to more than $2.3 trillion, higher growth than the average for all firms, the study says.
- As revenue grows, so does spending, attracting the attention of corporations trying to grab business from growing but underserved niches.
- Female-owned companies employ more than 18 million workers, up 18% from 1997, the study found.
- Principia Group, a marketing consulting firm in San Francisco whose founders include two women, could add as many as three workers this year.
- Like men, women are starting companies because they want more control over their careers, entrepreneurship experts say.
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