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Women-Owned Companies Have Grown 68% Since 2007 -- But Is It Enough?

Women-Owned Companies Have Grown 68% Since 2007 -- But Is It Enough?
According to a report from the Institute of Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), the number of businesses owned by women has increased 68 percent since 2007. This compares to the 47 percent growth for all businesses. Further, the percent of American businesses owned by women grew from 26 percent in 1997 to its current 29 percent. It's growth, but is it enough?

The explosion of minority-owned businesses

Examining the growth of businesses owned by minority women, on the other hand, creates an entirely different picture. The growth in this category is phenomenal. Less than 20 years ago, one in six female-owned businesses were minority women. Today, one third of all female-owned businesses are made up of minorities. Growth has been especially strong among black and Hispanic women, according to Jessica Milli, a senior research associate at IWPR. Black women represent 14 percent, and Hispanic women 11 percent, of all women-owned businesses.

Women-owned businesses are growing, but...

Two primary areas that need to see further growth are 1) wage gaps, and 2) size of businesses. Even in larger industries such as transportation and warehousing, women-owned businesses are making $.84 of every dollar the same industry earns if owned by men. The size of women-owned businesses are also problematic; they tend to be smaller than those owned by men. This makes it more difficult for women to get capital and loans at reasonable rates.

Overall, the growth is very good. According to Milli, even though equality has not yet been reached, women entrepreneurship is "moving toward equality in terms of representation, which is a great thing."