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Growth of Women-Owned Enterprises 2002-2012

The Growth and Development of Women-Owned Enterprises in the United States, 2002-2012

Womenable for the National Women’s Business Council

First published March 2016

This research is an analysis of the key trends and findings in women’s business ownership, comparing figures from the 2002, 2007, and 2012 Surveys of Business Owners. The project explores the growth and development of women-owned enterprises over the 2002 to 2012 period, paying particular attention to differences between the pre-recession period of 2002-2007 and the more recent 2007-2012 period.

The Council commissioned Womenable to complete this project, building upon an analysis of the preliminary 2012 figures released in fall 2015 and diving into the following: changes in growth in the number, employment, payroll, and revenue of women-owned business nationally, by state, by top 50 metropolitan areas, and by industry, over the entire 10-year period and across each five-year period; changes in the relative size of women-owned businesses by employment and revenue size categories — nationally and by state, metropolitan area and industry — to determine where growth is above and below average; and comparative size gaps between women-owned firms and all other privately-held firms — by industry and along the business size continuum (revenue and employment) — and how those gaps have or have not changed over the past ten years, and especially since the recession.

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