Women start 70% percent of all new businesses and, since 1987, the number of women-owned businesses in the U.S. has doubled while revenues have increased five times. Today, women-owned companies account for 40% of privately held companies – or 10.4 million firms. A woman owns one in five of all companies in the country with revenues of $1 million or more.
According to a recent study by Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute, women-led companies will account for as many as 5.5 million new U.S. jobs by 2018.
A 2009 study, “The Economic Impact of Women-Owned Businesses in the United States,” which was underwritten by Walmart, the National Women’s Business Council and the Center for Women’s Business Research, showed that women-owned firms have an economic impact of $3 trillion annually that translates into the creation and/or maintenance of more than 23 million jobs – 16% of all U.S. jobs.
Just think, if U.S.-based women-owned businesses were their own country, they would have the fifth largest Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which measures the market value of all final goods, in the world, trailing closely behind Germany, and ahead of countries including France, United Kingdom and Italy.
Women’s zest for entrepreneurship may be spurred on by the real – or perceived – lack of opportunities and flexibility in major corporations and large businesses. It may also reflect the still-existing wage gap between the sexes. Although women have made substantial gains, the wage gap hasn’t gone away. In 1979, women working full time earned 62% of what men did, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. By 1980, the gap had closed to 80%. Working women with full-time jobs had a median weekly income of $638 while men earned on average $798.
So what does all of this mean to you and your company? Re-consider your target if you are a financial service company. Remember women are concerned about reaching tangible goals, not talking the industry lingo. Channel understanding and thoughtfulness in your branding messages by providing information and counsel.