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May 18, 2011 / Women Presidents' Organization

The American Express OPEN State of Women-Owned Businesses Report

Recently, American Express OPEN offered an up-to-date account of the state of women-owned businesses in the United States in 2011. Using data from the three most recent business census surveys (1997, 2002, and 2007) the report provides estimates of the number, employment and revenues of women-owned firms as of 2011.

Key findings include:

• As of 2011, it is estimated that there are over 8.1 million women-owned businesses in the United States, generating nearly $1.3 trillion in revenues and employing nearly 7.7 million people.

• Between 1997 and 2011, when the number of businesses in the United States increased by 34%, the number of women-owned firms increased by 50%— a rate 1½ times the national average.

• Despite the fact that the number of women owned firms continue to grow at a rate exceeding the national average, and account for 29% of all enterprises, women-owned firms only employ 6% of the country’s workforce and contribute just under 4% of business revenues. Further, the employment and sales growth of women-owned enterprises between 1997 and 2011 (8% and 53%, respectively) lags the national average (17% and 71%).

• Combining equally-owned firms with women owned enterprises finds that women- and equally owned firms number nearly 12.9 million as of 2011, generate nearly $2.6 trillion in revenues, and employ nearly 15.8 million people. Women- and equally owned firms together represent 46% of U.S. firms and contribute 13% of total employment and 8% of firm revenues.

To read more from American Express OPEN, click here.

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