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Women’s Business Ownership 2012

Women’s Business Ownership: Data from the 2012 Survey of Business Owners

U.S. SBA Office of Advocacy

First published May 2017

Women make up more than 50% of the U.S. population, and they have grown to be 47% of the workforce. They have surpassed men in educational attainment, with over 33% of women having a bachelor’s degree or higher. Women control $14 trillion, or 51%, of U.S. personal wealth and are now the primary source of income in over 40% of households.

Women’s importance to the U.S. business community is self-evident, and statistics like these help our understanding of their impact. As the only large-scale survey on business demographics, the Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners (SBO) provides an opportunity to evaluate women-owned businesses. Using the SBO data, this report analyzes the unique characteristics, current role, and opportunities for growth of women-owned businesses in the U.S. economy. Due to changes in the SBO’s survey methods, this report is primarily a snapshot of women-owned businesses in 2012.


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