35 Women-Owned Business Statistics You Need to Know in 2021

Women are strong. Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles, chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki are all models of this strength. 

Women are also smart. Consider Marie Curie, the Polish scientist who discovered radioactivity. 

It should be no surprise that women are also superb business leaders. And not just in the traditional business sense of finance or consulting. 

With a rising number of women attending business school, many are using their degrees not as a one-way ticket to Wall Street, but instead to blaze a path with their own companies. By using strong resolve and keen decision-making in the face of adversity, women have found tremendous business success. 

Read through these women-owned business statistics to get a better understanding of just how strong and smart female entrepreneurs are. You can also jump down to the infographic to get an overview of women-owned businesses.

Women-Owned Business Statistics

women in business statistics

Businesses are at the heart of the American economy. As more women start businesses of their own, they’re moving front and center, contributing tremendously to the market. These statistics outline the performance of women-owned businesses.

  • There were nearly 13 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. as of 2019. (American Express)
  • Women-owned businesses generated $1.9 trillion in revenue for the U.S. economy in 2019. (American Express)
  • Between 2014 and 2019, the growth rate of the number of women-owned companies was 3.9% annually. This is significantly more than the growth rate of all businesses during the same time frame, which was only increased 1.7% each year. (American Express)
  • Women-owned businesses employ almost 9.4 million people as of 2019. (National Women’s Business Council)
  • Over the past two decades, the number of women entrepreneurs has increased by 114%. (Inc)
  • Despite contributing enormously to the economy, women-owned firms received only 4.75% of federal contracts in 2018. (National Women’s Business Council)
  • In 1972 women-owned businesses only represented 4.6% of all businesses. In 2019  they represented 42% of all U.S. businesses. (American Express)
  • 1,817 new women-owned businesses were created per day in the U.S. in 2019. (American Express)
  • Employment increased by 8% between 2014 and 2019, while for all businesses employment only increased by 1.8%. (American Express)
  • In 2019, other services (pet care, hair, nail or beauty services), healthcare and social assistance, and professional/scientific/technical services accounted for half of all women-owned businesses. (American Express)
  • Wholesale trade, retail trade and professional, scientific and technical services were the three industries that produced the highest total revenue for women-owned businesses in 2019. (American Express)
  • A 2019 survey run by Visa questioned female business owners and found that nearly 50% of respondents stated that they would put additional funding for their company towards marketing and advertising. (Visa)
  • In 2018, the average loan size for women founders was 31% lower than it was for male founders. (Biz2Credit)
  • The average female business owner has operated their company for 11 years. (Visa)
  • Based on Visa’s survey answered by female business owners, 59% of respondents said that their business was both brick and mortar and online. (Visa)

Minority-Women-Owned Business Statistics

While the growth in women-owned businesses is impressive, the growth in minority women-owned businesses is even more so. Here are the numbers tracking the momentum of minority women entrepreneurs.

  • From 2014 to 2019, the number of businesses owned by women of color increased by 43%, doubling the growth rate of women-owned businesses (21%). (American Express
  • Women of color make up 50% of all women-owned businesses as of 2019. (American Express)
  • Women of color founders employ 2,389,500 people, which makes up 25% of the total employment of women-owned businesses. (American Express)
  • Women-of-color-owned businesses generated 23% of total women-owned businesses’ revenue in 2019 ($422.5 billion). (American Express)
  • As of 2019, 18% of all women-owned businesses in the U.S. were owned by Latinx women. (American Express)
  • Of the net new women-owned businesses started per day (1,625), women-of-color accounted for 89% of those new businesses. (American Express)

Women Entrepreneur Statistics

It’s easier now than ever before to become an entrepreneur. With fail-safe technology, you can get a domain, set up a website and sell your product in no time. Women have capitalized on this opportunity as reflected through these women entrepreneur stats: 

  • Globally, the rate of female entrepreneurship has been increasing more rapidly than male entrepreneurs. (Visa)
  • Women founders reported pursuing passion as their top motivator for starting their business. (Visa)
  • In 2017, founding teams consisting of only women accounted for a mere 2.2% of total venture capital funding. By comparison, all-male teams raised about 79% of total venture capital funding. (Kauffman Foundation)
  • Women-owned startups pay higher interest rates and take on more collateral than similar male-owned businesses. (Kauffman Foundation)
  • Women business owners used about two-thirds less financial capital at the startup phase than male business owners. (Kauffman Foundation)
  • Investors tend to unconsciously ask different questions based on gender. They often ask men how will you “win” and ask women how will you “not lose” when gauging the success of an idea. (Kauffman Foundation)
  • Female business owners tend to be more educated than the average entrepreneur. (Guidant Financial)
  • Cash is the most popular form of funding for female entrepreneurs. (Guidant Financial)
  • In the 1980s, only 7% of patents were filed by female inventors. In 2016, that number rose to 21%. (National Women’s Business Council)

Female Entrepreneur Trends

These stats track the progress made over the past few years by women entrepreneurs, and the numbers are also telling us what to expect next. Here are some trends female entrepreneurs should keep track of. 

  • The rise of the “sidetrepreneurs.” A sidetrepreneur is someone who practices entrepreneurship part-time. Between 2014 and 2019, the growth of sidetrepreneurship was double that of regular women entrepreneurship. (American Express)
  • Growth in the number of freelance employees at women-owned small businesses. With the help of more effective collaborative technologies and the rise of remote work, more founders are turning to freelancers and hiring part-time. Since 2014, companies have hired fewer permanent employees and that trend is likely to continue through the next few years. (American Express)
  • More diverse founders. While the growth rate of women-owned businesses grew tremendously between 2014 to 2019, the number of minority-women-owned businesses skyrocketed. (American Express)
  • Ongoing growth in the utilities industry. Between 2014 to 2019, growth in the utilities industry for women-owned businesses grew 160% and is projected to continue that rise. (American Express)
  • Women will continue to help other women. 65%of female small business owners know another small business owner and 91% of those solicit advice from other female business owners. (Visa)

Think back to when you were a little kid. You may have dreamed of being an astronaut, becoming president or starting a business. Today, little girls can not only dream of starting their own company or attending business school, they can look at the thousands of role models who are actually doing it. 

Check out the infographic below to learn more about how women are disrupting traditional corporations, some challenges women entrepreneurs face and what to expect next from female entrepreneurs.

Sources: American Express | Visa | Bank of America | Kauffman Foundation | Inc | National Women’s Business Council | Guidant Financial