Women-Owened Businesses Hold an Important Place in World and US Economy

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Attenza Law is a women-owned business, and we are proud of this fact. In fact, we are about to pursue a Women Business Enterprise (WBE) certification. With this goal now in mind, I started to wonder about women-owned businesses and statistics about them. I found out some interesting facts:

  • Women represent more than 1/3 of all people involved in entrepreneurial activity. (Source: Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2005 Report on Women and Entrepreneurship)
  • Between 1997 and 2002, women-owned firms grew by 19.8 percent while all U.S. firms grew by seven percent (Source: SBA, Office of Advocacy)
  • Women-owned firms accounted for 6.5 percent of total employment in U.S. firms in 2002 and 4.2 percent of total receipts. (Source: SBA, Office of Advocacy)
  • The number of women-owned firms continues to grow at twice the rate of all U.S. firms (23% v. 9%). There are an estimated 10 million women-owned, privately-held U.S. businesses. The greatest challenge for women-owned firms is access to capital, credit and equity. Women start businesses on both lifestyle and financial reasons. Many run businesses from home to save on overhead. (Source: SBA, Office of Advocacy and Business Times, April 2005)
  • Worldwide, women own 25-33% of all private businesses. (Source: Ernst & Young)
  • Women are more likely to seek business advice — 69% v. 47% men (Source: American Express). This must be the same gene that makes women ask for directions more often than men do!

I guess it should be no surprise that I am in a women-owned business and am now seeking this certification to become more involved with women-owned firms. I went to a women’s college, Mt. Holyoke College, and when I first decided to go to law school, when I was still living in Rome, I wanted to work in the field of women’s rights. I joked that it was a reaction to living in the sexist and patriarchal Italian society for 12 years! Whatever the reason, I have drifted back to these beginnings. Funny how that happens.


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