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The Growth Of Women Owned Businesses

Women Owned Businesses

Posted by Steven Sheck, President, Infinite Media

April 8, 2021

Women’s History Month has drawn to a close. Every March, for 31 days we honor and reflect on the contributions women have made, are making, and hopefully will make to our society and economy. Women owned businesses are on the rise. More than ever, women in business are a dynamic driver of our nation’s economic growth.

Women Count

Figures just released showed steady growth in business ownership by women for the most recent reference year (2018 for Census data). Following are some key data points:

  • Current estimates of total women owned businesses is over 12 million
  • There were 6,861 more women owned employer firms YoY.
  • This represented an increase of 0.6% to 1.1 million.
  • These firms reported nearly $1.8 trillion in sales, shipments, receipts or revenue
  • They employed over 10.1 million people with a payroll $388.1 billion in 2018
  • Non-employer (self-employed) businesses owned by women total 10.6 million
  • Sales, shipments, receipts or revenue for sole proprietors were $286.1 billion in 2017

Taken at face value, these statistics look promising, but there are some underlying caveats:

  • The highest percentage of women owned firms among all 50 states is 24.7%, in Hawaii.
  • The top ten are completed by states ranging from 23.7% down to 20.6%.
  • Of California’s total of 742,139 firms, only 149,927 were women owned.
  • Women represent more than half of the U.S. population, yet women own about 40% of businesses nationwide.
  • Employees of women owned firms earn about 70% as much as all firms.

Yet there are silver linings:

  • In September 2020 39 Fortune 500 firms had women CEOs. In 1999 there were 2.
  • In 1970 women made up 8% of STEM workers, but that increased to 27% by 2019.
  • Almost 3.7 million minority women owned businesses had sales of $34.7 billion (2017).
  • Last year 1,821 businesses were opened by women every day.

Women are making significant inroads in high growth sectors. Over 190,000 women owned firms are clustered in the Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services Sector (NAICS 54). Almost 2 million employees of women owned firms work in the Health Care & Social Assistance Sector (NAICS 62).

Work/Life Challenges Persist For Women In Business

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many dual earning parents to juggle home life, child care, and work. A recent Pew Research survey found that women more than men consistently report feelings of job underperformance, pressure to reduce work schedules, and foregoing advancement opportunities. Particularly if there are children involved. Clearly, though much has changed for women in the workplace, the pandemic has opened old wounds. According to the Dept. of Labor, more than 2 million women left the workforce since the start of the pandemic. Disproportionate responsibility for infant care, home schooling and elder care has been borne by working women, as the childcare and education systems have been stressed dramatically.

Reach Women Owned Businesses

Marketers must reach decision makers – from CEOs to front line health workers – with offers of products and services that enhance their lives and livelihoods. Fortunately databases tools exist that make selective, focused targeting of influential women feasible. They may be utilized to build large scale mailing lists or as reservoirs of selected data points for appending to records. Here are just a few of the many high quality resources that are available:

Partnering with the right data provider makes obtaining the right data for the right audience at the right price a reality. Data appends that complete your prospect profiles enable multi-channel personalization spanning postal, email, and phone campaigns. Freshness, accuracy, broad selection, strict data hygiene, and data privacy compliance are essential to an audience that demands to be truly seen.

Women are rising in the ranks, starting startups, and just plain doing their jobs. From top to bottom, they each have needs ranging from corporate operations to infant care (or both). Meeting these needs is both an opportunity and a mandate. Marketing opportunities can run the gamut from massive IT contracts to cable TV subscriptions. They can be market movers or life preservers.

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