Women-Owned Firms Propel Economic Growth, CT Ranked #22

Connecticut ranks 22nd in the “economic clout” of women-owned firms, according to a new study which averages each states’ ranking in the growth of the number, revenue and employment levels of women-owned firms between 1997 and 2013. The number of women-owned businesses in Connecticut increased 35 percent since 1997 and sales at those firms increased by nearly 67 percent,  in an analysis of U.S. Census data by American Express Open.  The review of state-by-state and national data estimates the number of Connecticut businesses owned by women increased to 97,800 this year. Those businesses will have $15.5 billion in sales and employ 92,200 workers in 2013, according to The 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report.   Connecticut firms exceeded the national average in hiring employees (up 17 percent in the state vs. 10 percent nationally) and in sales growth (67 percent vs. 63 percent).

As of 2013, it is estimated that there are over 8.6 million women-owned businesses in the United States, generating over $1.3 trillion in revenues and employing nearly 7.8 million people. The American Express analysis showed Connecticut still lags behind the 59 percent national average in growth among women-owned businesses since 1997.women owned

Driving Growth

Between 1997 and 2013, when the number of businesses in the United States increased by 41%, the number of women-owned firms increased by 59%— a rate 1½ times the national average.

The report noted that in the six years since the beginning of the recession in 2007, private sector job growth in the United States has come from two main sources: large, publicly traded corporations, and privately-owned majority women-owned businesses.

Women of Color

In 1997, there were just under 1 million (929,445) firms owned by women of color, accounting for one in six (17%) women-owned firms. That number has skyrocketed to an estimated 2,677,700 as of 2013, now comprising one in three (31%) women-owned firms.

The number of firms owned by Latinas are estimated at 944,000 as of 2013, according to the analysis. These firms employ 408,100 workers and generate an estimated $65.5 billion in revenue. Latina women own 36% of all Latino-owned firms, employ 20% of the workers employed by Latino-owned firms, and contribute 16% of the revenue generated by Latino-owned businesses. While nationally 11% of women-owned firms are owned by Latinas, they comprise the greatest share of all women-owned firms in New Mexico (29%), Texas (25%), Florida (24%) and California (20%).

Across All Industries

The states with the fastest growth in the number, employment and revenues of women-owned firms are the District of Columbia, North Dakota, Nevada, Wyoming and Georgia. The states with the lowest growth in the number of women-owned firms between 1997 and 2013 are: Alaska (12%), West Virginia (23%), Iowa (23%), Ohio (27%) and Kansas (27%).  Among the nation’s 25 most populous metropolitan areas, the fastest growing for women-owned firms are San Antonio TX, Portland OR, Houston TX, Riverside CA, and Washington DC/MD/VA.

Women-owned firms continue to diversify into all industries. The industries with the highest concentration of women-owned firms are: health care and social assistance (53% of firms in this sector are women-owned, compared to a 29% share overall), educational services (45%), other services (41%), and administrative support and waste management services (44%).

The industries with the lowest concentration of women-owned firms (in industries contributing 2% or more of the business population) are construction (where just 7% of firms are women-owned), transportation and warehousing (11%) and finance and insurance (20%). All other industries are close to the 29% share in all industries—illustrating that women-owned firms are staking a claim in all sectors of the U.S. economy.

Connecticut's overall ranking at #22 falls between Pennsylvania and West Virginia.