By Rieva Lesonsky
New study details impact of women-owned businesses
October is Women’s Small Business Month. So it’s appropriate that a new study led by the Center for Women’s Business Research (CWBR) has found that the impact of women-owned businesses in the U.S. economy is even greater than previously believed.
The benchmark study, The Economic Impact of Women-Owned Businesses in the United States, showed that women-owned companies generate some $3 trillion in revenue and employ 23 million Americans–nearly double the number of people employed by the 50 biggest U.S. companies.
“Women-owned firms employ or generate a total of 16 percent of the jobs in our nation’s economy,” said Gwen Martin, executive director and director of research for the Center for Women’s Business Research.
Women-owned businesses were defined as privately held companies with at least 50 percent ownership held by women.
Previous research on women-owned businesses has relied only on the number of firms, revenues and direct employment, according to the CWBR. For the first time, this study included the impact of purchases made by the businesses, as well as the purchasing power of their suppliers and employees, giving a more comprehensive picture of the total economic impact women-owned businesses have on the U.S. economy.
As someone who’s watched the small-business landscape evolve over the last 30 years, I know the power that women business owners hold—but I also know the challenges they face in getting access to capital and, sometimes, simple respect. This study gives advocates for women in business new, useful ammunition in seeking to make policy changes that can help women entrepreneurs.
Read more about the study at the Center for Women’s Business Research.