Here at the Web.com Small Business Forum we’re excited to continue to add new features to help you all start and grow better businesses. Starting next week we’re going to address a segment of the entrepreneurial population—women business owners.
Women are certainly not new to the entrepreneurial world; in fact, since the early 1990s, they’ve been starting businesses at a rate at least double the general startup rate (and sometimes four times as fast). But for whatever reason (there are plenty of theories, but no one can pinpoint exactly why), these small businesses aren’t growing as big or as fast as those owned by men.
Today, according to The 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report commissioned by American Express OPEN, women own about 8.6 million businesses in the United States, approximately 29 percent of all American businesses.
Other stats paint a less rosy picture:
- Only 13 percent of women-owned businesses have annual revenues over $100,000, compared with nearly one-third of businesses owned by men.
- 23 percent of male-owned businesses have employees, compared to only 12 percent of women-owned businesses.
- A mere 1.8 percent of women-owned firms have revenues of $1 million or more, while more than 6 percent of businesses owned by men do.
And then there’s the money issue. The Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy reports that studies show “women entrepreneurs have less access to financial capital or make less use of it than male entrepreneurs…They obtain smaller loans, pay higher interest rates, must put up higher collateral and are dissatisfied with the bank loan process.”
The SBA also reports that women typically have limited interaction with venture capital firms, and are underrepresented among fast-growth and high-tech businesses.
That said, we all know women business owners are an important and influential demographic—and we want to help them grow faster and smarter. So next week we’re going to launch Women in Business Tips twice a week here at the Small Business Forum. We’re going to be offering solutions to the many issues women face, including money, marketing and technological challenges.
We’d love to hear from you. Tell us about some of the challenges you’ve faced, how you solved them and what issues you’re concerned about today. Together, we can all make a difference.