Small businesses are a major part of the American economy, and women appear to run them better. Small businesses fuel job growth, generate taxes and make up a large percentage of American businesses overall. While immigrants and other groups have carved out a large portion of this segment of the economy, a newly released survey suggests an even bigger demographic contributes to the small business landscape: women.
The ninth annual State of Women-Owned Businesses Report estimates that approximately 42% of all American businesses are owned by women. That block of businesses generates $1.9 trillion and employs 9.4 million workers. According to the study, commissioned earlier this year by American Express, women with “diverse ethnic and geographic backgrounds started an average of 1,817 new businesses per day.”
When it comes to small business in the United States, more women are running the show.
On Wednesday, the National Women’s Business Council released an analysis of preliminary Census data which showed there were nearly 10 million women-owned small businesses in the U.S. in 2012, a 27.5% increase from 2007. (The Census defines a woman-owned business as one where a woman owns 51% or more of the business equity or stock).
While men still own more businesses than women, women-owned businesses grew at a rate of four times that of male-owned businesses. In 2012, men owned nearly 15 million businesses.
Overall, women-owned businesses earned a total of $1.6 trillion between 2007 and 2012 and the vast majority (89.4%) were run by sole proprietors, meaning the only employee was the owner.
The report, which pulled data from the Census’s Survey of Small Business Owners, also highlighted major increases in small business ownership among women of color, particularly black and Hispanic women.