This article is brought to you by American Express OPEN. For the full State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, visit openforum.com/women. American Express OPEN salutes, celebrates and wants to help fuel the future of women business owners. For more information about BrandSpeak, click here.
As our economy changes, entrepreneurial women are emerging as leaders of industry, bringing significant, fresh ideas to the marketplace. American Express OPEN wants to tell you their stories, reveal their challenges and inspire you with their successes. OPEN wants to help you understand how exciting their achievements are, and as part of a continuing effort to understand womens’ impact, OPEN commissioned its second annual study, The State of Women-Owned Businesses [PDF].
Since you can’t manage what you can’t measure, OPEN wanted to find out what was truly happening in the space and share it with business owners and advocates everywhere. Understanding what’s happening with women business owners is a crucial part of continued growth and success. What OPEN discovered is that growth by women-owned businesses is surging at a pace faster than that of any other group — over the past 15 years, 1.5 times greater than other groups. That’s a tremendous accomplishment, and women have reason to celebrate.
But we also learned that’s just half of the story. While women are starting and growing new and innovative ventures in droves many eventually experience growth pains at the 5 to 9 employee and $250,000 to $499,999 revenue marks. Between 1997 and 2002, and then again from 2007 to 2012, we saw dips in the overall growth rates of women-owned businesses at these employee and revenue points. In addition, even though 29% of businesses are women-owned, overall, they only contribute to 4% of revenue in this country and 6% employment. So while there is much success and progress to be proud of, there is still more that we can all do to support today’s woman business owners.
Data like this is just the start of a conversation that OPEN wants you to be a part of. For the next several weeks, OPEN will initiate a dialogue with infographics, profiles of women leading the way in the tech space and articles that celebrate and encourage women in the small business world. OPEN wants to celebrate and help you, female entrepreneurs and fans of female entrepreneurs everywhere, to reach even greater heights. This conversation is just the beginning, and the implications are profound — women entrepreneurs have the ability to turn our economy around.
What are your thoughts about this data? How are you #PoweringTomorrow in your community and with your business? Tell us on Twitter: “I am #PoweringTomorrow by____________.”