There are over 400 million women entrepreneurs and established businesswomen in the world today.
While these encouraging women entrepreneurs statistics show amazing progress and incredible growth, there are significant issues that female entrepreneurs continue to face on their way to success.
What is the real state of women in entrepreneurship?
Check out these fascinating stats and facts to find out.
Ten Most Fascinating Women in Business Statistics
- There are 12.9 million women-owned businesses in the US.
- Women-owned businesses employ 9.4 million people in the US.
- Women-owned businesses generate annual revenue of $1.9 trillion.
- The number of women-owned businesses has increased by almost 3,000% in the period 1972–2018.
- Women of color account for half of all women-owned businesses, female entrepreneurship statistics for 2019 reveal.
- The US is the best place in the world to be a woman entrepreneur.
- The average age of female entrepreneurs is 42.
- Women’s crowdfunding for business has a higher success rate than that of men—69.5% contrasted with 61.4%.
US Female Entrepreneurship Statistics
1. There are 12.9 million women-owned businesses in the US.
(Cornerstone Capital Group)
Marking a growth of 21% in the number of women-owned businesses from 2014 to 2019, women now own 42% of all US businesses.
2. Women-owned businesses employ 9.4 million people in the US.
(Business Wire, UENI)
According to female entrepreneurship statistics, in 2020, women make up 52.34% of sole proprietors in the US.
Interestingly, a recent survey has discovered that women are more likely to own companies with a lower number of employees. Namely, female entrepreneurs own only 32.59% of enterprises with four or more workers.
3. Women-owned businesses generate annual revenue of $1.9 trillion.
(Business Wire, CNBC)
The average annual revenue of women-owned businesses increased by 68% last year—from $228,578 in 2018 to $384,359 in 2019.
4. 207,900 women-owned enterprises generated $1 million or more in revenue, 2018 women-owned businesses statistics disclose.
(Forbes, The Business Journals)
Although this number represents only 1.7% of all women-owned businesses, it’s important to note that it has increased by a staggering 46% in the past 11 years.
5. The number of women-owned businesses has increased by almost 3,000% in the period 1972–2018.
In 1972, the first time the US Census Bureau provided data on women- and minority-owned firms, there were just 402,000 enterprises owned by women.
According to 2018 women entrepreneurs statistics, the number of women-owned companies has grown dramatically, as have the revenue and employment rates.
To put things into perspective, the revenue grew by 217 times—from $8.1 billion to $1.8 trillion, whereas employment increased from 230,000 to 9.2 million workers.
Women Entrepreneurship Statistics World Wide
6. In Uganda, 38.2% of all entrepreneurs are female.
Uganda is ranked number one in terms of the rates of women’s business ownership.
It’s followed by two other African countries—Ghana with a 37.9% share of women entrepreneurs, and Botswana, where female entrepreneurs make up 36% of all business owners.
Women entrepreneurship data tells us that, in developing countries, these women are considered “necessity-driven entrepreneurs.”
It means they’re spurred by the need to survive rather than encouraged by the country’s economic climate.
7. The US ranked first as the global powerhouse for female entrepreneurship.
The increase in activity of women entrepreneurs of America, backed by the growing support of women-led businesses, won the US a total of 70.3 out of 100 points in a 2019 Mastercard report.
Coming in second with 70.2 points is New Zealand, where female entrepreneurship is primarily driven by government and financial support.
Canada is ranked third, scoring 69 points, thanks to improved financial inclusion and cultural perceptions.
8. Asian and African countries have the least conducive atmosphere for women entrepreneurs, world female entrepreneurship statistics in 2019 reveal.
Algeria (39 points), Bangladesh (35.9 points), and Egypt (35.7 points) are placed at the bottom of the previously mentioned list.
This is mainly due to the factors like limited education, low financial inclusion, and lack of support for small and medium-sized businesses.
9. France, Taiwan, and Indonesia witnessed the biggest increase in female entrepreneurial activity rate, global women in business statistics indicate.
On the other hand, Mexico and Sweden saw the biggest decrease in women entrepreneurial activity, going down by 35.6% and 35.0% in 2019, respectively.
10. Over 75% of women-owned businesses in the UAE and over 50% of female-led enterprises in Saudi Arabia are considered global.
Middle East countries may have some of the lowest female business ownership rates.
However, successful women entrepreneurs in these countries are the most ambitious and the most invested in expanding their businesses.
For instance, in the UAE, 81% of women entrepreneurs plan to expand operations.
Women in the Middle East and North Africa are also quite focused on innovation—they are 60% more likely to offer new products and services than their male counterparts.
11. San Francisco is the best city in the world for women entrepreneurs.
(2019 Dell Women Entrepreneur Cities Index)
It may not have the highest percentage of female business owners, but a 2019 research puts San Francisco at the top of the list, followed by New York City and London.
Boston and Los Angeles round up the five top cities for female entrepreneurs.
One might wonder what it is about the San Francisco Bay Area that makes it this prominent.
First of all, it’s one of the best places for women to gain capital.
Secondly, the city moved up to the second position in Culture—showcasing an impressive amount of much-needed public dialogues around diversity, as well as the presence of role models.
Women Entrepreneurship Statistics and Demographics
12. The average age of female entrepreneurs is 42.
(Forbes, The Business Journals, Guidant Financial)
It’s never too late to start a business. There are numerous examples of women entrepreneurs over 50, including media moguls like Oprah Winfrey and Martha Steward.
On top of that, 2018 data shows that almost half of women entrepreneurs are between 40 and 55 years old.
The ownership rates of small businesses depict a similar situation. As many as 36% of women in this sector are between 56 and 74 years old.
Interestingly, 24–39-year-old Millennial women account for only 13% of female owners of small businesses.
13. Women of color account for half of all women-owned businesses, female entrepreneurship statistics for 2019 reveal.
(State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, The Business Journals)
Women of color employ 25% of all workers in women-owned enterprises and generate 23% of total women-owned businesses’ revenue.
The number of companies by women of color has the biggest growth rate as well—it increased by a whopping 163% from 2007 to 2018.
14. Between 2018 and 2019, around 763 new businesses were started daily by African American business owners, statistics indicate.
(State of Women-Owned Businesses Report)
New firms started by African American women account for the highest percentage, or 42%, of all 1,817 new companies started by women every day from 2018 to 2019.
Companies owned by African American women also showed the highest growth rate both in 2014–2019 and 2018–2019, making up the largest segment of women-owned businesses after non-minority women.
15. Firms started by Hispanic women account for 31% of all businesses started by women between 2018 and 2019.
(State of Women-Owned Businesses Report)
What’s more, Hispanic women-owned businesses accounted for 18% of all women-owned businesses. Their annual growth is also going up—from 7% in 2014–2019 to 10% in 2019.
In comparison, Native American and Native Hawaiian women registered the lowest number of new businesses per day and the lowest total number of women-owned businesses.
As of 2019, these two minority groups make up 1.4% and 0.3% of all women-owned firms, respectively.
16. Madam C. J. Walker was the first female African American entrepreneur and the first black woman millionaire in the US.
Born in 1867 to parents who had both been slaves, Madam C. J. Walker was the original “self-made” woman, paving the way for today’s successful women business owners.
Walker got inspired to create haircare products for black women after she experienced problems with her scalp and lost a lot of hair as a result.
Madam C.J. Walker developed an entire method that included scalp preparation, lotions, and iron combs. With time, she gained a loyal following and opened a factory and a beauty school.
By and large, Madam C.J. is revered as a pioneering black woman who still inspires thousands of people to strive for financial independence.
Male vs. Female Entrepreneurs Statistics
17. The business landscape is becoming more gender-equal, but there is still a revenue gap between male- and female-owned businesses.
Additionally, in 2019, the credit scores of female-owned businesses tailed those of men-owned enterprises.
Even though the credit score of women-owned businesses rose from 588 in 2018 to 590 in 2019, it’s still lagging behind the score of the male counterparts—613.
Women-owned businesses generated $367,795 less than male-owned companies, male vs. female entrepreneurs statistics for 2019 show.
What’s more, the number of workers employed by female-owned companies is still considerably lower—last year, women-owned enterprises employed only 8% of the US workforce.
18. Women’s crowdfunding for business has a higher success rate than that of men—69.5% opposed to 61.4%.
(The Coleman Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership, Forbes)
On average, women entrepreneurs ask for $89,000 in debt financing compared to men—$124,500. That is a significant gap of $35,000.
This, combined with women in business stats, suggests that female entrepreneurs have a higher success rate of crowdfunding because they tend to seek less funding than men.
19. Women may receive less funding, but women-founded companies perform better over time.
Women-founded startups generate approximately 10% more in cumulative revenue in a 5-year period than male-owned firms.
The former also turn an investment into revenue more effectively.
For every dollar of funding, startups founded or co-founded by women generate 78 cents, while male-founded businesses generate only 31 cents.
20. According to male vs. female entrepreneurs statistics for 2020, women are less likely to own companies in construction and electronics & appliances.
Women, however, run more than 70% of businesses in categories like consumables (80.89% women-owned businesses vs. 19.11% men-owned businesses).
They’re also in charge of the hair and beauty (76.21% vs. 23.79%), gifts and occasions (75.03% vs. 24.97%), and domestic services (74.98% vs. 25.02%).
Other business categories with a high percentage of female entrepreneurs include pet care (67.09%), grocery & food (66.87%), wellness (63.65%), and clothes & accessories (62.88%).
Interestingly, women-owned businesses are also taking the lead in the tourism & activities sector, with 58.66% of female entrepreneurs.
Finally, there are two sectors in which both female- and men-led businesses have struck a balance—school & education and general health & medical.
Women Entrepreneurs Statistics per Industry
21. Data from 2007 to 2018 reveals that the number of female-owned companies increased the most in utilities (151%) and services (126%).
Although these two industries note the highest growth in the number of women-owned businesses, they don’t produce the most in revenue.
Female-owned businesses record the highest revenue in wholesale and retail trade (17% and 15%) and professional, scientific, and technical services (10%).
(State of Women-Owned Businesses Report)
Namely, the employment percentage stands at 21%.
Other two industries that also boast a high employment rate are accommodation & food services (16%) and administrative, support & waste management services (13%).
23. Many of the women on the list of top 10 female entrepreneurs have successfully crossed over into several industries.
(Hatchwise, Small Business Trends)
Female entrepreneurs like Sofia Vergara, J.K. Rowling, and Arianna Huffington have had resounding success in more than just one industry.
Other female founders of famous companies have been more than successful in male-dominated industries.
Numerour examples include Weili Dai, the co-founder of a tech company Marvell Technology Group, or Cher Wang, the co-founder and chairperson of HTC.
How many female entrepreneurs are there?
According to the data presented in a 2018/2019 report, around 252 million women worldwide are entrepreneurs, while another 153 million women are running already established businesses.
What percent of business owners are female?
Around 6.2% of women entrepreneurs own an established business, global statistics show.
The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor defines an established company as one that has been in operation for at least 42 months.
How many female entrepreneurs are there in the US?
According to the US Census Bureau’s report on minority- and women-owned businesses, there were 12.3 million women-owned companies in the US in 2018, or 40% of all businesses.
Who is the most famous female entrepreneur?
From Oprah Winfrey, net worth around $2.6 billion, to Weili Dai, the co-founder of Marvell Technology Group with a net worth of $1.1 billion, the list of successful female entrepreneurs is quite long.
Other notable names include:
- Diane Hendricks, the head of ABC Supply, the biggest wholesale distributors of roofing, siding, and windows in the US—net worth $8 billion;
- Judy Faulkner, the founder of Epic Systems, America’s number one provider of medical-record software—net worth: $5.5 billion;
- Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, the chairperson and managing director of Biocon Ltd.—net worth $4.3 billion;
- Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx—net worth $610 million;
- Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of YouTube—net worth $580 million.
Women have made incredible strides in business and entrepreneurship. Still, as women entrepreneurs statistics indicate, they trail male-owned businesses in growth, revenue, and financing opportunities.
The good news is that actions are taken to help women reach their full potential—starting from support networks to educational programs for young girls incorporating entrepreneurial skills.
Hopefully, these measures, combined with a greater share of women entrepreneurs, will finally lead to gender equality in entrepreneurship.
- Business Wire
- Cornerstone Capital Group
- Guidant Financial
- Mastercard Newsroom
- PR Newswire
- Small Business Trends
- State of Women-Owned Businesses Report
- The Business Journals
- The Coleman Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership
- 2019 Dell Women Entrepreneur Cities Index