The State of Women-Owned Businesses – 2014

Whereas women are making slow but steady gains in Corporate America, female entrepreneurship is growing at a markedly rapid rate. A recent report by Womenable, published by American Express OPEN, estimates that there are now more than 9 million majority-owned and privately held women-owned companies in the United States, employing nearly 8 million and generating over $1.4 trillion in revenue.

Here are some of the more notable findings.

Between 1997 and 2014, when the overall number of businesses in the United States increased by 47 percent, the number of women-owned companies rose by 68 percent.

The states with the fastest growth in the number of women-owned firms over the past 17 years are Georgia (up 118 percent), Texas (98 percent), North Carolina (91 percent), Nevada (91 percent), and Mississippi (81 percent).

The number of firms owned by women of color increased at a greater rate than those owned by nonminority women. The number of businesses owned by African American women rose by 296 percent from 1997 to 2014; Asian American women by 179 percent; and Latina women by 206 percent. The increase in nonminority women–owned firms was 37 percent over the same time period.

“Women are going into business at rates exceeding the national average,” says Julie Weeks, president and CEO of Womenable. “This trend has been fueled by the phenomenal growth of companies owned by women of color, now comprising one in every three women-owned firms.”

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