An excerpt from the Winona Daily News:
Women are making inroads in owning businesses. In its most recent analysis of census data, the National Women’s Business Council reports there are 7.8 million women-owned businesses in the U.S., representing 28.7 percent of all non-farm businesses in the country. That was a 20.1 percent increase over the five-year period from 2002 through 2007.
Of those businesses, 88.3 percent are non-employer firms, which points to a lot of female entrepreneurs. The other 11.7 percent employ 7.6 million employees with a payroll of $217.6 billion.
What kinds of businesses attract female ownership? Health care and social assistance businesses are 52 percent women-owned, followed by education services at 45.9 percent. Management of companies and enterprise represent only 6.7 percent and 7.9 percent of the construction businesses are owned by women.
In another study done by the council, women business owners were mostly motivated by independence, flexibility and work-family balance. Wealth creation was not a motivator.
Study participants who were the most risk tolerant had high expectations for business performance and growth. So those with higher expectations were more comfortable with risk and more poised to grow their business.
It’s no surprise that the study found that women business owners juggle multiple roles. Many business owners take a holistic view of balancing work and personal life, with some concern about adding business growth to their home roles and responsibilities.
It takes a long time to change some cultural issues and the glass ceiling is still strong and holding in some business sectors.
Let’s hope that the numbers continue to grow so opportunity in the business world will not be related to gender but directly connected to ability.