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What Women Entrepreneurs Need to Thrive

Tackling the Gender Gap: What Women Entrepreneurs Need to Thrive

Senator Jeanne Shaheen

First published December 2017

Women are more than half the population of the United States and make remarkable political, economic and social contributions to our country. Women entrepreneurs, in particular, are creating new businesses, disrupting established industries and developing innovative products at a record pace.

Thirty years ago, there were approximately 4 million women-owned businesses in the United States. Today, there are more than 11 million women-owned businesses –
representing 39 percent of all firms.

While this trend is moving in the right direction, women-owned businesses still grow at a slower rate and earn less revenue than male-owned firms. In fact, women
entrepreneurs face persistent institutional barriers that make achieving financial parity a serious challenge with lasting consequences.

The following report was prepared by the minority staff of the Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship to understand the underlying reasons for this
gender gap at a time when women have never been more consequential to the future of our economy.

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