CT Ranks 35th in Economic Clout of Women-Owned Businesses

Connecticut ranks 35th in the economic clout of women-owned businesses over the past 18 years, according to a newly released analysis.  Women now run more than 9.4 million businesses in the United States, 30 percent of the nation’s businesses, with just over 100,000 of them in Connecticut Between 1997 and 2014, the number of women owned businesses in Connecticut grew by 42.1 percent, ranking the state 43rd in the nation.  Total revenue growth of 80.2 percent ranked Connecticut 28th, and employment growth of 20.9 percent among women owned business placed the state 22nd among the 50 states. cover

Nationwide, the number of women-owned firms grew from 5.4 million in 1997 to an estimated 9.4 million this year, an increase of 73 percent over the nearly two decades.  Employment in those businesses grew by 12 percent and sales by 78 percent, nationally.  The number of women-owned firms is increasing at a rate 1.5 times the national average.swob-report-weeks-openforum-embed1

In Connecticut, the number of businesses owned by women climbed from 72,393 in 1997 to 102.900 by this year.  Employment increased from 78,598 to an estimated 95,000, and sales grew from just over $9 million to nearly $17 million.

The industries with the highest concentration of women-owned firms nationally are healthcare and social assistance (53 percent of firms in this sector are women-owned, compared to a 30 percent share overall), educational services (45 percent), other services (42 percent), and administrative support and waste management services (37 percent).

The states with the fastest growth in the number of women-owned firms during the 18 year period are Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, North Dakota and New York.  The slowest growth has taken place in Alaska, West Virginia, Iowa, Kansas and Maine.

Since 1997, the number of female-run businesses has grown by 74 percent, well above the national growth rate of 51 percent for all firms. In 2014, women opened the doors of 887 new businesses every day, on average, up from 602 in 2011.

Women of color contributed to more than half of that growth last year, opening on average nearly 500 businesses daily, according to the new 2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, prepared with U.S. Census data by Womenable, a research organization supporting women's entrepreneurship, and commissioned by American Express OPEN.

chartOf the nation’s women-owned businesses, African-American women own 1.3 million, Latinas 1 million, and Asian women more than 700,000. Businesses owned by women of color tend to be smaller in terms of their average employment and revenue, the report indicated. But their growth, both in numbers and in their economic clout—the combined average of their growth, revenue, and employment—continues to outpace that of their white peers, the data indicates.

“Back in 1997, there were just under one million firms owned by non-Caucasian women, representing one in six (17 percent) women-owned firms. Nlogoow, there are an estimated 3.1 million minority women-owned firms, representing one in three (33 percent) women-owned firms,” pointed out Julie Weeks, President and CEO of Womenable.  “The growing diversity of women-owned firms is one of the most remarkable trends of the past decade.”

CT Ranks 35th in Economic Clout of Women-Owned Businesses; Growth Rate Ranks 43rd

According to the latest State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, women-owned firms in the U.S. now make up 30 percent of all businesses -- and they're generating about $1.5 trillion in revenue, an increase of 79 percent since 1997.  Connecticut, however, ranks 43rd in the nation in the percentage of growth, below the national average, at 42.1 percent.  The state also ranks 28th in percentage of revenue growth of women-owned businesses, and 22nd in the growth of employment levels in women-owned businesses.  Overall, Connecticut ranks 35th in the nation in the combined "economic clout" ranking of women-owned businesses, considering growth in the number of firms, revenues and employment during the past two decades.report cover The newly released report, looking back at the past two decades, found that women-owned firms are found in every state and in every industry:

  • The number of women-owned firms in the U.S. continues to climb, and is now estimated to have surpassed 9.4 million enterprises—30 percent of all businesses in the country;
  • Women-owned firms now employ over 7.9 million workers (excluding owners), providing one in seven jobs among privately-owned businesses.
  • The fastest growing industry sector is educational services, which has seen a 67% increase in the number of women-owned firms since 2007 versus an overall 21% increase.

A study by American Express OPEN using U.S. Census data found the number of women-owned businesses has grown dramatically since 1997.  Since that year there have been an average of 608 net new women-owned firms launched each and every day across the nation—and the rate just over the past year stands at 887 per day. The number of women-owned firms is increasing at a rate 1.5 times the national average.

Connecticut has nearly 103,000 women-owned businesses employing 95,000 people and generating approximately $16.7 billion in sales, according to data outlined in the report.  Picture4

Nationally, the number of women-owned firms has increased by 74 percent since 1997. The states with the fastest growth in the number of women owned firms over the past 18 years are: Georgia (up 132%), Texas (116%), North Carolina (98%), North Dakota (89%) and New York (89%). The top ten states for women-owned firms, in terms of growth in number and economic clout, are North Dakota, Wyoming, D.C., Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Maryland, Texas, Utah and Hawaii.  The states at the bottom of the list are Iowa, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont and Ohio.

In 1997, there were just under 1 million (929,445) firms owned by minority women, accounting for one in six (17%) women-owned firms.  That number has skyrocketed to an estimated 3,111,300 as of 2015, now comprising one in three (33%) women--‐owned firms. These 3.1 million multicultural women--‐owned firms employ 1.6 million workers in addition to the owner and generate an estimated $268 Billion in revenues.women owned firms

The industries with the highest concentration of women-owned firms are healthcare and social assistance (53 percent of firms in this sector are women-owned, compared to a 30 percent share overall), educational services (45 percent), other services (42 percent), and administrative support and waste management services (37 percent).

In the mid-west, Illinois ranks 19th nationally with 68 percent growth in the number of female business owners over the last 18 years, while Indiana placed 45th nationwide with 37.7 percent growth (somewhat below Connecticut's ranking).  New Jersey ranked 25th for growth in the number of women-owned businesses, with a 58.3 percent growth rate between 1997 and 2015, and 40th for growth in revenue, at 58.2 percent.

The report also found that the number of minority women who own businesses has grown significantly. In 1997, minority women owned 17 percent of women-owned firms in the United States. Today, minority women own 33 percent of the nation's 9.4 million women-owned companies. African-American women own 1.3 million businesses and Latinas own 1.1 million companies.swob-report-weeks-openforum-embed1

The report points out that "the only bright spot in recent years with respect to privately-held company job growth has been among women-owned firms.  They have added an estimated 340,000 jobs since 2007.  Among men-owned and equally-owned firms, employment has declined over the past eight years."

The study also found that start-up activity among women is on the rise, as the daily rate of net new women-owned firms was 602 in 2011-12, 744 in 2012-13, 1,288 in 2013-14 and this past year was 887 net new women-owned firms per day - all higher than the overall 554 per day over the entire 2007-15 period, according to the report.

Among the 484 net new minority-owned firms per day last year were 223 African-American women-owned firms, 168 Latina-owned firms and 105 Asian American owned firms started each day in 2014.


Women-Owned Businesses in Region Growing Across Many Fields

They are some of Connecticut’s most successful companies that you've never heard of.  And perhaps a few that you have. What they have in common is ownership. They're owned by women -  in some cases 100 percent owned.

Who are they?

Among the leaders are Farmington-based Companions & Homemakers, which topped a newly published list with 1,600 local employees and 4 local offices, West Hartford’s Companions for Living, with 114 employees, iTech Solutions, also in Farmington, Caring Solutions, Phoenix Manufacturing Inc. and Andrew Associates, all headquartered in Enfield.  The Walker Group (Farmington), Infoshred (East Windsor) The Human Resource Consulting Group (Seymour)Merry Employment Group (West Hartford) and Sandair Systems Inc (Windsor) are also 100 percent owned by women.

The Hartford Business Journal listed the firms as part of their ranking of the largest women-owned businesses (ownership exceeding 50 percent) in the Hartford region.   The 25 firms were led by a top 10 in fields including home health care, aerospace, advertising, information technology staffing, janitorial services, and family maintenance services.  Of the 25 businesses, only 3 were launched since 2000.  The remainder date back to the last century, including two, Post Road Stages (1912) and Beacon Light and Supply Company (1932), to the first half of the century.

The number of women-owned businesses in Connecticutboard table increased 35 percent since 1997 and sales at those firms increased 67 percent, according to a census analysis by American Express Open, released earlier this month.

Women starting their own business have opportunities to learn from others who’ve blazed the trail.  The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Women’s Business Center Program is a national network providing business training, counseling and other resources to help women start and grow successful businesses. In Connecticut, network participants are The Entrepreneurial Center at the University of Hartford, the Stamford/Southwest Women’s Business Center of the Women's Business Development Council in Stamford, and the Naugatuck Valley Women’s Business Center at Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury.

Last week, Connecticut Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman visited some women-owned small businesses that have received financial assistance from the state’s Small Business Express. The stops included Dottie’s Diner in Waterbury, The Dutch Bulb Lady in Waterbury, Richards Machine Tool Co. Inc. in Berlin, LSC Distribution in Hartford and American Masons & Building Supply Co. in Hartford.

Earlier this year, a national survey of women business owners (WBOs) conducted by Web.com Group, Inc. and the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) found a pervasive sense of economic optimism, including a prediction by most WBOs (85 percent) that more women will become entrepreneurs in 2013 than in past years.  WBOs also plan to invest more (38 percent) or the same (54 percent) in hiring this year than they did in 2012 – a positive sign for the economy.

With regard to public policy matters, the top four issues on the minds of WBOs are: the state of the economy (57 percent), health insurance cost and affordability (40 percent), business tax issues (36 percent), and access to a quality workforce (36 percent). Though two in five WBOs said that health insurance costs and affordability are important issues to them, many (71 percent) feel that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) will have no impact upon the way they do business.