Census Shows Growth of Women-Owned Businesses

According to a U.S. Census Bureau report, the number of privately held companies owned by women grew 16 percent from 1992 to 1997, nearly three times the 6 percent rate for all companies. The census reports that there are close to 5.4 million women-owned businesses in the United States alone.

Revenue at women-owned businesses also increased faster than average, 33 percent compared with 24 percent for companies overall.

Other interesting facts of the 5.4 million women-owned businesses uncovered during the census are highlighted below.

  • 85% are sole proprietorships (unincorporated businesses owned by an individual), and 6% were C corporations (legally incorporated).

  • California has the largest number of women-owned businesses (700,500), following by New York, Texas, and Florida, each with about half as many. At the bottom of the list were Delaware and North Dakota (about 13,000 each).

  • They're smaller than the average company, with 69% reporting revenue of less than $25,000 a year, and 16% having paid employees.

  • 70% of them are in the service and retail sectors.

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