Woot! 23 Million Employed by Women-Owned Businesses
My 10-year-old daughter, Anna, wants to start a business selling small pompoms glued together to look like cute, warm fuzzy creatures that she makes on our dining room table. Why start your own business, I asked her? "Because I wanted to earn some money of my own."
Turns out Anna's not alone. Even in these tough economic times, women are starting businesses at an astounding rate. A recent report found that women-owned businesses in the United States now employ 23 million people, which is nearly double the number of those employed by the 50 biggest companies in the country combined!1
Wow! Not only are women now nearly half of the entire labor force, but women have also become a strong force as business owners in our nation-and we want to celebrate that power for Women in Business Week, which is this week (October 19th- 24th):
- Do you own a business? If YES, click here to tell us all about it:
- If you don't own a business, do you have a dream business? Or a woman entrepreneur you admire? Tell us about it & read what others are saying here!
Why all this interest in women-owned businesses? Well, for one, as we celebrate Women and Business Week (October 19-24) we want to give a shout out to all the women who've set up their own businesses. We're also building a network of women-owned businesses because you're in the forefront of creating truly family-friendly workplaces and your voices are critical to helping to bring about change for all working women. And lastly, for those of you who don't currently own your own business, we want to collect your ideas and dreams for empowering more and more women.
The number of women-owned businesses has been sky rocketing. For the past several years women have been starting businesses at double the rate of the general American public, and many of these new business owners are women of color.2
Many are asking, "Are you surprised by how quickly the number of women-owned businesses has been growing?" Our answer? Well, no. Moms know that the general lack of workplace flexibility, family leave, sick days, and affordable and high quality childcare in most companies can make worklife balance a nightmare. Plus the fact that women are paid 77 cents to a man's dollar,3 and moms are paid just 73 cents to a man's dollar is a strong incentive for business ownership.4 So, we're not surprised that many women are taking their education and skills to Main Streets and boardrooms across our nation to do it their own way. In fact, women-owned businesses are more likely to offer supportive, family-friendly benefits like flex-time, family leave, sick days, and profit sharing!5
With these stats in mind, it's no wonder an increasing number of women are taking matters into their own hands and starting their own businesses where they can pay themselves equal pay for equal work, and also provide family-friendly policies in their own workplaces.
Business analysts agree: Alicia Robb, Kauffman Foundation senior research fellow was recently quoted saying the following: "The interesting thing about women entrepreneurs is that many of them may be purposely starting businesses as a lifestyle choice. The number of women-owned businesses growing faster may reflect that women are going into business as a viable way to move out of the traditional employment market and gain flexibility."6
Here are some quick facts for you. Majority women-owned businesses:
- Employ 23 million people (16 percent of the workforce, which is nearly double the number of those employed by the 50 biggest companies in the country combined), 7
- Generate $3 trillion in revenue, 8
- Are more likely to offer supportive, family-friendly benefits like flex-time and profit sharing!9
*Moms are powerful! Help us flex our muscles by telling us if you own a business here:
And, if you don't own a business, then do you have a dream business? Or a woman entrepreneur you admire? Tell us about it and read what others are saying here too!
As we celebrate the success and power of women in business, we're also building a network of women-owned businesses so we can help each other out, as well as better build a movement for family economic security for all in our nation.
-- Kristin, Nanette, Ariana, Donna, Mary, Katie, Sarah, Dionna, Joan, Ashley, Anita, and the MomsRising Team
1-Ylan Q. Mui, "Women a Big Force in Business, Study Finds," Washington Post, October 3, 2009: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/02/AR200910...
2- February 3, 2009: The Kaufmann Foundation: http://www.kauffman.org/Details.aspx?id=6254&LangType=1033 Also: A Compendium of National Statistics on Women-Owned Businesses in the U.S." A publication of The Center for Women's Business Research, prepared for the National Women's Business Council. September 2000. Available at http://www.nwbc.gov/research/documents/compendium.pdf In addition: The website of The National Women's Business Council, Research page. Available at http://www.nwbc.gov/research/research.html
4- Jane Waldfogel, "Understanding the 'Family Gap' in Pay for Women with Children," Journal of Economic Perspectives 12, no. 1 (1998): 137-56.
5- Deborah L. Frett, "Paid Sick Days and Paid Parental Leave are Good for Business and Good for Working women," 2009: http://edlabor.house.gov/documents/111/pdf/testimony/20090611DeborahFret...
6 - February 3, 2009: The Kaufmann Foundation: http://www.kauffman.org/Details.aspx?id=6254&LangType=1033
7- Ylan Q. Mui, "Women a Big Force in Business, Study Finds," Washington Post, October 3, 2009: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/02/AR200910...
8- Ylan Q. Mui, "Women a Big Force in Business, Study Finds," Washington Post, October 3, 2009: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/02/AR200910...
9- Deborah L. Frett, "Paid Sick Days and Paid Parental Leave are Good for Business and Good for Working women," 2009: http://edlabor.house.gov/documents/111/pdf/testimony/20090611DeborahFret...