Women-Owned Businesses Lag Behind in Revenue

Across all ethnicities, women-owned businesses are increasing faster than male-owned businesses. 

While this is certainly cause for celebration, new Census data reveals a different side to this picture. 

Last week, a Pew Research report found that businesses owned by women and minorities lagged far behind male-owned firms in terms of revenue share. In fact, out of the over $14 trillion in revenue from sales in 2012, only $1.6 trillion (11.3%), went to female-owned businesses. That leaves 79% of sales revenue going to male-owned businesses.

Pew Chart_Sept 2015.jpg

Other highlights from Pew’s data: 

  • As of 2012, men owned more than half of the country’s 27.6 million firms while women only owned about 9.9 million (36% of businesses).

  • Even in sectors with many female business leaders, women haven’t always been as successful as their numbers suggest. In the heavily female educational industry, women took in only about a quarter of revenues.

  • Similar inequality exists for businesses owned by members of minority groups: 29% of all small businesses were owned by blacks or Asians in 2012 (roughly 12% were owned by Hispanics), but just over 10% of total sales revenue went to minority-owned businesses.

This data proves we have work to do in order to empower women business owners and give them the tools they need to be competitive with their male counterparts. At Grameen America, we believe providing microloans to those most in need, encouraging savings and offering credit-building and educational training is the best way to ensure women everywhere can be engines of economic growth.