Trends in Women-owned Businesses, U.S. and NH

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September 30, 2014

The number of women-owned businesses in the United States continues to increase at rates that exceed the national average growth rate among all businesses, according to this latest report from American Express OPEN. However, those women-owned businesses remain smaller than the average in terms of number of employees. Of the 9.1 million women-owned firms operating in the U.S. today, 7.9 million people are employed. This is always confusing, because they don’t include owners as employees. Maybe switch the sentence & start w/ the 7.9 million employed in 9.1 million firms. These firms generate $1.4 trillion in revenues.

Growth in the number of women-owned firms from 1997 to 2014 has been 1 ½ times the rate of the U.S. average. One interesting note, during that period leading up to the major recession of 2008, 591 new women-owned firms were created each day and that average peaked at 714 between the year 2002 and 2007. After that recession, the average became 506 per day, and today’s average annual rate shows a major rebound, with 1,288 women-owned businesses being formed each day of the last year. Is this really true?? Double the # are being formed?

During that same time period, 1997 to 2014, New Hampshire’s women-owned businesses grew by 41 percent. The state is ranked #30 when comparing growth rates across the country during that time period. The number of employees working for women-owned firms in New Hampshire grew by 12.9 percent during that time period. Across the U.S., women owned the majority of firms in the health care and social assistance industry, at 53 percent. On average women-owned firms are about 30 percent of all other industry sectors. However, they are least represented among construction, transportation and warehousing, wholesale trade and finance and insurance. Women-owned firms are just 7 percent of those in the construction industry, for example.

chart showing a rise in women-owned businesses from 1997-2013