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In honor of the upcoming National Women’s History Month, we are celebrating women-owned businesses in the U.S. – all 8.6 million of them! Get ready to be inspired and impressed! (Tweet this!)
Women-owned businesses are generating $1.3 trillion in revenues annually, and the value continues to rise; revenues are up 59% in the U.S. between 1997 and 2013 (Source: NAWBO). But in reality, female entrepreneurs’ reach is even further than that! For example, many studies focus on majority “women-owned” businesses, which overlook the 18.8% of “women-led” businesses (where a woman owns less than 51% of the company). These groups combined, however, make up 36% of businesses in the U.S, according to the National Women’s Business Council, and could possibly account for an additional economic impact of up to $1 trillion!
It gets even better; according to Mary Quist-Newins author of Women and Money: Matters of Trust, 45% of American millionaires are women, and 60% of high net worth women have earned their own fortunes. Not only that, but women control more than half of the investment wealth in the United States!
Location, Location, Location
Where you build your empire won’t make or break your business, but it never hurts to play the odds! According to the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute, the U.S. ranked #1 out of 17 for fostering high potential female entrepreneurship. Within America, women are dominating in Baltimore, Chicago, and Washington D.C., where more than one-third of businesses are women-owned. And Atlanta, Charlotte, Denver, Minneapolis, N.Y.C., Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle are not far behind, with more than 30% of businesses being women-owned (Source: NerdWallet). (Tweet this!)
The Power of Female Entrepreneurship
In addition to having a knack for taking initiative and driving results, women have an awesome network of support. I guess asking for directions really does pay off! This is especially true of the tech startup scene, where 80% of the female entrepreneurs reportedly have mentors (Source: Vivek Wadhwa). Investment in women-owned businesses is growing too, up more than 40% from 2011 to 2012 (Source: Center of Venture Research). And since 80% of consumer spending is controlled by women, this group wields enough purchasing power to ensure continued growth for products and services developed by women (Source: Forbes). Pay it forward, ladies! (Tweet this!)
So why is fear of failure more common in U.S. women than men? For the past 30 years, women have earned more bachelor and master degrees than men (Source: Department for Professional Employees), and women-owned businesses are growing at a 1.5x faster rate than all other firms. On top of that, women entrepreneurs in the U.S. are much more engaged in the innovation sector, with 36% of female business owners delivering innovative products and services, compared to 17% of men (Source: Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Women’s Report). To keep moving forward, women entrepreneurs need to have confidence in themselves and their female peers. A few encouraging words go a long way!
Why Become an Entrepreneur?
The reasons are limitless, but here are some of the most common motives that incite action among female entrepreneurs: having a vision for a business idea; having a passion for solving a problem; wanting a more flexible work-life balance; being in the right place at the right time. The most successful of these businesses originated from a passion and sustained because of a vision to succeed long-term (Source: NAWBO). (Tweet this!)
What’s your passion? What’s your version of success?