Women Entrepreneurs Have A Lot To Celebrate This International Women’s Day


If you’re one of the 11.6 million women-owned businesses in the United States today, congratulations for the incredible boost you are providing to our economy. And the number of women-owned business continues to grow—an astonishing 114 percent between 1997 and 2017, compared to the overall national growth rate of 44 percent for all businesses. In addition, the employment growth rate over the past 20 years has been nearly double for women-owned businesses at 27 percent, compared to 13 percent for all businesses.

In honor of International Women’s Day, we wanted to share some additional important facts and figures on women-owned businesses, and hopefully inspire your next step—whether it’s branching out as a first-time entrepreneur or expanding your existing business.

Facts about Women-Owned Businesses

There’s no question that women-owned firms play a huge role in today’s economy. Consider these impressive numbers from “The 2017 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report. Women-owned businesses:

  • Account for 39 percent of all U.S. firms; however, that number rises to 47 percent of all businesses when you consider the combination of women-owned businesses and firms that have shared male/female ownership
  • Employ 8 percent of the total private sector workforce—or 14 percent when you add in firms with equal female/male ownership
  • Contribute 4.2 percent of total business revenues; 7 percent when adding in firms equally owned by men and women

Top 10 States Most Friendly To Women Business Owners

Wondering how your state ranks? While savvy business owners can make a go of their venture anywhere, it’s interesting to see how your location ranks nationally. Here are the states that are most friendly to women-owned businesses, according to an analysis by Fit Small Business:
1. Georgia

2. Florida

3. Maryland

4. California

5. Colorado

6. Virginia

7. New York

8. Texas

9. Hawaii

10. New Mexico

They derived these rankings from the following six metrics, giving weight in different proportions as noted:

  • Percentage of women-owned businesses in the state – 20 percent
  • Percentage of state business revenues from women-owned firms – 20 percent
  • Economic clout rank – 17.5 percent
  • Trend in net number of new women-owned firms per day – 17.5 percent
  • Percentage of women-owned firms with paid employees – 12.5 percent
  • Percentage of employees in women-owned firms – 12.5 percent

Best Cities for Women Entrepreneurs.

These rankings get even more granular, offering up the best cities for women who want to start a business, as ranked by

Greater Tampa Bay Area, FL (Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater)
Silicon Valley, CA (San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara)
Seattle Metropolitan Area, WA (Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue)
Greater Orlando, FL (Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford)
Inland Empire, CA (Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario)
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI (Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington)
Bay Area, CA (San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward)
Pittsburgh, PA
St. Louis, MO-IL
Miami Metropolitan Area, FL (Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach)
The key metrics contributing to the rankings are:

  • Percentage of women-owned businesses
  • Number of new businesses per 100,000 people
  • Women-to-men pay difference
  • Unemployment rate for women
  • Number of National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) chapters

Top Industries for Women-Owned Businesses

Here are the industries where women are making the greatest strides, according to American Express.

  • “Other Services” (this includes hair and nail salons and pet care businesses): 2.8 million businesses total, which is 23 percent of all women-owned firms
  • Health Care and Social Assistance (this includes child care and home health care services): 1.8 million business total, accounting for 15 percent of all women-owned firms
  • Professional/Scientific/Technical Services (this including lawyers, accountants, architects, public relations firms and management consultants): 1.5 million businesses total, and 12 percent of all women-owned firms

Industries With the Biggest Growth for Women-Owned Businesses

According to American Express, these are the types of women-owned businesses that are growing the fastest.

  • Construction: 15 percent
  • Arts, Entertainment and Recreation: 12 percent
  • Other Services: 12 percent
  • Accommodation and Food Services: 11 percent
  • Utilities: 10 percent

While being an entrepreneur is its own reward, don’t overlook the benefits that can come with being an officially certified “Women-Owned Business,” through a group such as the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), which is the largest certifier of women-owned businesses or women’s business enterprises in the United States.

It can be an important business builder because many public corporations and government purchasing agencies on the local, state and federal levels have programs that funnel a certain amount of business to women-owned companies. While the process to achieve the designation can be challenging, the payoff will be that your firm will be considered for work it otherwise might not have been.

And of course, you’ll want to make sure your business is covered every step of the way with the insurance you need. From all of us, our hats are off to our many women-owned business clients this International Women’s Day…and every day.