Fast Facts and Statistics

Top Facts About Women-Owned Businesses

Center for Women?s Business Research is the source for all of the facts below.
  • 10.6 million firms are at least 50% owned by a woman or women
  • Forty-eight percent (48%), nearly half, of all privately-held firms are at least 50% owned by a woman or women.
  • Between 1997 and 2004, the estimated growth rate in the number of women-owned firms was nearly twice that of all firms (17% vs. 9%), employment expanded at twice the rate of all firms (24% vs. 12%), and estimated revenues kept pace with all firms (39% vs. 34%).
  • Women-owned businesses will spend an estimated $546 billion annually on salaries and benefits ($492 billion on salaries and $54 billion for employee benefits ? heath, retirement, and insurance). Health benefits comprise the largest share of benefit expenditures, with 2004 spending estimated at $38 billion.
  • Women-owned firms employ 19.1 million people and generate $2.5 trillion in sales.
  • Privately-held 50% or more women-owned firms are just as likely as all privately-held firms to have employees (23% of women-owned firms compared to 25% of all firms).
  • Annual expenditures by women-owned enterprises for just four areas ? information technology ($38 billion), telecommunications ($25 billion), human resources services ($23 billion), and shipping ($17 billion) ? are estimated to be $103 billion.
  • Between 1997 and 2004, privately-held 50% or more women-owned firms diversified into all industries with the fastest growth in construction (30% growth ), transportation, communications and public utilities (28% growth ), and agricultural serves (24% growth).
  • The number of women-owned firms with employees has expanded by an estimated 28% between 1997 and 2004, three times the growth rate of all firms with employees.
  • As of 2004, almost two-thirds (63%) of all women-owned businesses are privately-held majority (51%) or more women-owned for a total of 6.7 million firms, employing 9.8 million people and generating $1.2 trillion in sales.
  • The top three fastest growing states, based on an average rank of 1997 to 2004 growth rates, in the number of privately-held, 50% or more women-owned firms, employment and sales are: 1) Utah; 2) Arizona; and 3) Nevada.   

? Center for Women?s Business Research, 2003



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