A Snapshot of Women Small Business Owners

Ready-to-GrowReady to Grow: A Snapshot of Women Small Business Owners

Business and Professional Women’s Foundation

First published August 2013

Women play a central role in rebuilding the middle class and keeping our economy growing. The U.S. Small Business Administration describes women‐owned businesses as one of the fastest‐growing segments of the economy. According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau statistics (compiled every five years), there were 7.8 million women-owned firms in 2007 roughly 90% of which are small businesses.2 Between 2002 and 2007, the National Women’s Business Council reports that women‐owned firms increased by twenty percent.3 Research indicates that many women choose to become small business owners as young mothers with small children in the home, or later in their lives, as an “encore” career.

As women continue to start businesses in this country, it is imperative they have the right tools to be successful. But do they? Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) Foundation began to explore this question by conducting a brief poll among women small business owners. This research builds upon earlier BPW Foundation studies related to women small business owners, including our 2011 Women in Technology Broadband Report and our 2010 Joining Forces for Women Veterans Inaugural Summit Report.

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