Successful women entrepreneurs are feeling confident about their companies’ continued growth prospects—for good reason, according to the 2016 BNP Paribas Global Entrepreneur Report, which recently surveyed more than 2500 high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth entrepreneurs from around the world.
A whopping 90 percent of women entrepreneurs in the study reported that they expect their businesses’ gross profits to either stay the same or grow in the coming year. All told, 61 percent of women entrepreneurs expect their profits to rise — compared to 58 percent of entrepreneurs overall.
Not only are these female entrepreneurs more optimistic about future growth than their male counterparts, they are already more successful financially. Businesses owned by women reported having 13 percent higher revenues than businesses owned by men, and 9 percent higher revenues than businesses overall.
These figures refer to women entrepreneurs of all ages, but when the study authors pulled out statistics about Millennial women, the results are even more impressive. Three-fourths of Millennial women business owners expect their profits to rise in the next 12 months. What’s more, Millennial women business owners expected to see profit margins of 35 percent compared to an average of 31 percent for all businesses. They have reason to be optimistic: Already, revenues for companies owned by Millennial women are 22 percent higher than the average for all businesses.
Where are women entrepreneurs in this survey making their marks? The top industries for wealth creation among women were retail (17 percent), professional services (11 percent) and fashion (6 percent). However, when asked in what industries they would most likely start a future business, ecommerce and travel/hospitality/leisure tied for the most popular choice among women, with social media coming in second.
More than 33 percent of the women entrepreneurs in the study are first-generation business owners, but only 21 percent of the Millennial women business owners are. Maybe these women are more financially successful than other entrepreneurs because they took over family businesses or simply had good role models in their entrepreneurial parents.
In addition, more than one-third of women entrepreneurs in the survey say they define success in financial terms–as profiting on their startup investment. About 12 percent define success as being able to pass their businesses on to a second generation, and a similar number define success as making an impact on society.
Why do these numbers sound so different from the data we frequently hear about women business owners having more limited ambitions, lower sales and less profitability than companies owned by men? Maybe because this was a global survey. In fact, the U.S. was only number 7 on the list in terms of the number of highly successful women entrepreneurs. Poland took the lead: 54 percent of Polish entrepreneurs in the survey were women, and an astounding 89 percent of Poland’s Millennial entrepreneurs were women.
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