Women-Owned Businesses Show Widespread Growth

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The U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy has recently analyzed the available data on women-owned businesses and consolidated the findings in Women In Business. The data sources indicate that significant growth has occurred in all areas of women- owned businesses. Using the most recent data available, the office has estimated the number and contributions of women-owned businesses in 1997 and made some projections to 2000 and beyond:

* The number of women-owned businesses increased 89 percent over the last decade to an estimated 8.5 million.

* Women-owned businesses generated $3.1 trillion in revenue, an increase of 209 percent between 1987 and 1997, after adjusting for inflation. * Some 23.8 million employees worked for women-owned firms, an increase of 262 percent over the 1987-97 period. * More than 1.4 million women-owned businesses with employees generate $2.8 trillion in revenue. The number of women-owned businesses with employees grew by 46 percent from 1987-97. * Revenue of women-owned businesses with employees grew 221 percent from 1987-97, after adjusting for inflation. * By the year 2000, it is estimated women-owned sole proprietorships will number 7.1 million, or 35 percent of all sole proprietorships. The number is expected to grow 33 percent from 1990 to 2000, compared with 23 percent for all sole proprietorships. * There will be about 4.7 million self-employed women by 2005. This is an increase of 77 percent since 1983, compared with a 6 percent increase in the number of self-employed men. This information comes on the heels of the findings from the National Foundation for Women Business Owners. The NFWBO's research indicates there are 8 million women-owned businesses, employing 18.4 million workers, and generating $2.3 trillion in annual revenues. The data also documents women's progress in business ownership over the recent past: * According to data from the Bureau of Census, 6.4 million women- owned businesses generated $1.6 trillion in business revenues in 1992. Women-owned businesses constituted 34 percent of all businesses and 25 percent of businesses with employees. * The number of women-owned businesses, excluding regular c- corporations, increased 43 percent from 1987 to 1992, compared with a 26 percent increase in all businesses. Receipts of these women- owned businesses increased 92 percent over the same period, compared with 38.5 percent overall. * Of the 5.8 million women-owned businesses, excluding c- corporations, in 1992, 53.7 percent were in services. Women were most represented in retail trade (44 percent). Just 10 percent of construction firms were women-owned. * Over the 1987-92 period, the number of women-owned businesses grew fastest in the more capital-intensive industries such as wholesale trade, manufacturing, and construction. …