The United State of Women: Full Speed Ahead

By Julie Harris, Exceptional Women’s Network.

Women have been trying to buy the right seat on the right train for decades. After waiting so long, have we finally arrived?

Nearly 30% of all businesses are now female-owned. Today, women bring in a respectable $1.5 trillion in revenue, according to Forbes. Beyond generating sizable economic contributions, these 9.1 million female business owners have also created plenty of job opportunities, employing 7.9 million workers.

According to a 2014 study on the United State of Women-Owned Businesses, the greatest job creation occurs among women-owned firms employing between 20 and 99 employees. If you are a woman on the hunt for a job, take notice that this seems to be the sweet spot for opportunities for career advancement.

From 1997–2014, there has been a daily net increase of 591 women-owned firms — including 714 per day in the years (2002–07) leading up to the recession, 506 per day over the past seven years (2007–14), and 1,288 per day over the past year, the study showed.

As the founder of the non-profit Exceptional Women’s Network, empowering young female entrepreneurs through career coaching, workshops and networking events, it is pleasing to see that this positive progress continues.

In the past 17 years, the total number of businesses in the United States increased by 47%, while the number of women-owned firms increased by 68% – a rate 1.5 times the national average. Employment has risen by 11% and revenue by 72% for women-owned firms. This outpaces the growth rates of all but the largest, publicly-traded firms – topping growth rates among all other privately-held businesses over this period, according to The United State of Women-Owned Businesses.

Where is the Growth?

The most rapid growth in the number of women-led companies are seen in California, Texas, Florida, New York and Illinois.

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Female Industry Representation

Generally, women are claiming their economic viability and sustainability, taking up more territory in the U.S., with larger industry-wide representation. While most industries have about a 30% share of female-owned businesses, these industries show the highest number of female-run companies.

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Industries with the highest rate of female-owned businesses:

  • Healthcare (17%)
  • Professional/Technical Services/Scientific (13%)
  • Administrative support and waste management (10%)
  • Retail Trade (10%)

Industries with the lowest rate of female-owned businesses:

  • Construction (7%)
  • Transportation and Warehousing (11%)
  • Wholesale Trade (19%)
  • Finance and Insurance (20%)

Historically, women have been risk averse due to competing priorities such as raising families, staying at home and providing for their own, but things have changed. In this millennium, women are taking the lead and risking it all for personal and professional growth.

Ladies, we are on a moving train of momentum. It is up to us to keep the train on track, moving to a destination of influential and economic abundance rather than scarcity.

Watch Julie’s video here!