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Women-Owned Businesses Growing 2X Faster Than All Businesses Nationwide

September 24, 2019 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – Women-owned businesses continue to fuel the economy and now represent 42% of all businesses — nearly 13 million — employing 9.4 million workers and generating revenue of $1.9 trillion, according to a new report commissioned by American Express.

According to the annual State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, in 2019 U.S. women of diverse ethnic and geographic backgrounds started an average of 1,817 new businesses per day, down only slightly from the record-setting 2018 number of 1,821.

The annual report, based on U.S. Census Bureau data adjusted by Gross Domestic Product data, found that women-owned businesses continue to trend above all businesses.

Over the past five years, for instance:

  • The number of women-owned businesses increased 21%, while all businesses increased only 9%;
  • Total employment by women-owned businesses rose 8%, while for all businesses the increase was far lower at 1.8%;
  • Total revenue for women-owned businesses also rose slightly above all businesses: 21% compared to 20% respectively.

“The face of entrepreneurship is evolving to include all women, regardless of demographics. Even more impressive is that women are starting businesses on their own terms – whether it be their full-time focus or a part time activity,” said Courtney Kelso, Senior Vice President of American Express in a written statement.

“The economic impact of women-owned businesses is undeniable, from the trillions they contribute via revenue to the millions of jobs they provide. We are committed to backing these women entrepreneurs because when they win, we all win.”

INDUSTRY TRENDS

Over half of all women-owned businesses are concentrated in three industries:

  • Healthcare and social assistance: The category includes child day care and home healthcare services and accounted for 15% of all women-owned businesses or about 1.9 million firms.
  • Professional/scientific/technical services: The category includes lawyers, bookkeepers, architects, public relations firms and consultants. It accounted for 13% of all women-owned businesses or 1.6 million firms.
  • Other services: This category includes hair and nail salons and pet care businesses and accounted for 22% of all women-owned businesses or 2.8 million firms.

While these industries have the most women-owned businesses, they don’t produce the most revenue. The three industries in which women-owned businesses have the highest total revenue are wholesale trade (17%), retail trade (14%) and professional, scientific and technical services (10%).

WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESSES ARE SUCCESSFUL ACROSS THE COUNTRY

The report analyzes geographic trends for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as the 50 most populous metropolitan areas in the U.S.

The states with the largest growth in number of women-owned firms in 2019 are:

  • Michigan
  • Georgia
  • Florida
  • South Carolina
  • Nevada

Between 2014 and 2019, the top states where women-owned businesses increased their economic clout — defined as growth in the number of firms and growth in employment and revenue — are:

  • Georgia
  • Oregon
  • Idaho
  • Nevada
  • South Dakota

The top metropolitan areas where women-owned businesses increased their economic clout from 2014 to 2019 are:

  • Detroit, Mich.
  • Charlotte, N.C.
  • Atlanta, Ga.
  • Austin, Texas
  • San Antonio, Texas

The states showing the highest employment vitality – a measure of employment growth rate from 2014 to 2019 at women-owned firms and their average number of employees are:

  • Maine
  • Minnesota
  • Indiana
  • Delaware
  • Virginia

THE STORY HERE IN WASHINGTON

Washington D.C. has an estimated 31,257 women-owned businesses, employing over 28,000 and generating roughly $5.1 billion in revenues.

Defined as a “state area” to ease comparison with other states, the D.C. metro ranked 18th in growth of number of women-owned firms since 2007 with a 10.7% increase, 24th in growth of jobs created with a 4.1% increase and 12th in growth of firm revenues with a 12.8% increase. 

The Washington DC/VA/MD metro area is ranked 34th in growth of number of women-owned firms among the top 50 U.S. metropolitan areas with an 11.5% increase over the past 11 years, 19th in growth of jobs created with a 10.1% increase and 33rd in growth of firm revenues with a 15.1% increase. 

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