Women-owned businesses are proliferating faster than men-owned businesses in the United States, according to The American Express OPEN State of Women-Owned Businesses Report.
Between 1997 and 2011, when the number of businesses in the United States increased by 34%, the number of women-owned firms increased by 50% -- a rate 1.5 times the national average. As of 2011, there are over 8.1 million women-owned businesses in the United States, generating nearly $1.3 trillion in revenues and employing nearly 7.7 million people, the report found.
Despite the fact that the number of women-owned firms continue to grow at a rate exceeding the national average, and account for 29% of all enterprises, women-owned firms only employ 6% of the country's workforce and contribute just under 4% of business revenues. Further, the employment and sales growth of women-owned enterprises between 1997 and 2011 (8% and 53%, respectively) lags the national average (17% and 71%).
"Within the population of women-owned firms, we see steady growth but a lack of progress up the size continuum," American Express said in the report. "And, when comparing like to like, small- and midsize women-owned firms are keeping pace with the national average -- and are topping the very sluggish growth seen among men-owned firms in the 1997-2011 period. However, something is putting women-owned firms off their stride as they grow larger; they fall behind toward the end of the entrepreneurial marathon, when entering the 100-employee and million-dollar 'anchor leg' of the race."