Women in business may still be facing challenges in areas of getting access to capital, mentorship, and support, the following women in business statistics will show you the facts about women-owned businesses, women in leadership roles, how they are overcoming obstacles and more.
Women-owned businesses are quickly becoming a dynamic force in today’s economy.
In fact, women-owned businesses are experiencing a higher growth rate than all businesses.
If you’re a woman thinking about starting a new business, the following statistics will help you learn more about the challenges, benefits, and growth of being a female entrepreneur.
We hope you find this information encouraging.
What Is Included in The Scope of Women in Business?
There are many ways to describe the scope of women in business, but for the purpose of this article, we will discuss it in the realm of women-owned businesses and women in business in leadership roles.
Regardless of how you describe women in business, it’s about activities in business at every level and how women-owned businesses contribute to solid and strong economic growth.
It doesn’t matter where you live on this earth, women in leadership roles exist and enjoy much success.
Key Women in Business Statistics in 2023
- In the United States, between 2007 and 2016, the number of women in business (owned) rose by 45%.
- In 2020, 42% if all businesses in the United States were owned by women.
- Female CEOs are now leaders of over 10% of Fortune 500 companies.
- In 2022, the United States Census Bureau reported that all women-owned businesses combined paid out an annual payroll of $423.1 billion to their employees.
- Between 2012 and 2019, women-employer firms experienced a 16.7% growth compared to men-owned firms in the same period.
- A survey on the impact of the pandemic revealed that 38.3% of the businesses owned by women experienced a significant decrease in sales.
- Data from 2020 reported in 2021 showed that 62.3% of women sought out financing to meet their operating expenses.
- According to a Guidant Financial 2023 report, Gen X had the largest market share in women business owners in 2022.
- In a 2022 Women in Business Trends report, 40% of women in business claimed they are very happy.
- In 2022, 59.2% of women in business said they were currently profitable.
General Women in Business Statistics in 2023
We will start with general statistics about women in business before we delve into the realm of specifics.
You will need to know all of these if you’re a marketer, a woman considering starting her own business, a business that lacks female leadership, or anyone interested in how women are quickly becoming business owners and leaders in the United States and across the world.
1. In the United States, Between 2007 and 2016, the Number of Women in Business (owned) Rose by 45%.
Compare the fact that from 2007 to 2016, United States women-owned businesses grew 45% while all other businesses only grew by 9% respectively.
This data comes from the 2016 State of Women-Owned Business Report commissioned by American Express.
This report consists of a summary of trends that occurred between 2007 and 2016 related to women in business.
It includes a lot of compelling and interesting stats and facts everyone in business should know.
(2016 American Express Report)
2. In 2020, 42% if All Businesses in The United States Were Owned by Women.
In numbers, 42% of women-owned businesses accounted for 13 million business in the United States in 2020.
These women-owned businesses employed 9.4 million workers.
They also generated $1.9 trillion in revenue, showing how valuable their businesses are to the overall United States economy.
Between February and April of 2020, the number of active female-owned businesses had a downfall of 25%.
Overall, in the United States during this same period, 22% of United States business owners dropped by 22% (3.3 million)
(NWBC 2020 Report)
3. Female CEOs are Now Leaders of Over 10% of Fortune 500 Companies.
As of 2023, reports of this being a record year for women being in leadership roles are spreading.
For the first time in 68 years of the Fortune 500 list, there are five new women Fortune 500 CEOs, as of January 2023.
These new CEOs has taken the 2022 figure of 8.8% of Fortune 500 female CEOs to over 10% in this realm.
More than 53 Fortune 500 companies now have female CEOs at the helm. Further Fortune 500 companies are set to replace retiring CEOs in 2023.
We wonder how many will be women and how many will be men? We will know soon enough.
4. In 2022, the United States Census Bureau Reported that All Women-Owned Businesses Combined Paid out An Annual Payroll of $423.1 Billion to Their Employees.
Since these women in business employed 10.9 million people in 2022 with an estimated $1.9 trillion in receipts, the annual payout of $423.1 billion is a sizable one.
You’ll notice that the revenue hasn’t changed since 2020 if you read number 2 in this list.
Do you think the pandemic had a negative impact on women-owned businesses as well as all businesses in the United States?
It’s believed that 2023 will be a year to remember in relation to many events and happenings.
One of these realms includes more women starting, owning, and leading businesses.
(United States Census Bureau)
5. Between 2012 and 2019, Women-Employer Firms Experienced a 16.7% Growth Compared to Men-Owned Firms in The Same Period.
While there are women and men who equally have the skills, knowledge, and expertise to own, operate, and/or lead in business activities, the statistics show that at least between 2012 and 2019 the 16.7% growth in women-employer firms compared to the 5.2% growth in men-employer owned firms is significant.
That said, in number one on this list, we mentioned the 45% growth in overall women-owned businesses between 2007 and 2016 in comparison to the 9% of the overall business growth.
The difference is between the women-employer firms and overall women in business statistics.
(NWBC 2022 Report)
6. A Survey on The Impact of The Pandemic Revealed that 38.3% of Women-Owned Businesses Say They Experienced a Significant Decrease in Sales.
Women in business, like men in business, also suffer losses in crises like the pandemic.
During 2020, 2021 reports revealed that 38.3% of women’s businesses said they showed a decrease in total sales while 31.3% of men’s businesses said they experienced significant sales losses.
However, the survey also revealed that 18.3% of women-owned firms claimed they saw little to no change in their sales.
In contrast, 22.3% of men-owned firms said they noticed little to no change in their sales.
(NWBC 2022 Report)
7. Data from 2020 Reported in 2021 Showed that 62.3% of Women Sought out Financing to Meet Their Operating Expenses.
While 62.3% of businesswomen went looking for financing to help them meet their operating expenses during the pandemic, 54.6% of businessmen sought financing for the same reason.
However, 32.6% of men in business looked for loans for expansion, asset acquisition, and new opportunity pursuits.
Likewise, 26.3% of women in business sought funding for the same purposes as men.
(NWBC 2022 Report)
8. According to A Guidant Financial 2023 Report, Gen X Had the Largest Market Share in Women Business Owners in 2022.
It’s unlikely that the fact that Gen X has the largest market share in women businesses has changed much since 2022.
It is probably still around 68.9% like the 2022 figures revealed.
However, Boomers have the second largest market share in women’s businesses at 19.4%.
The Post War generation has the smallest share with 1%, while Millennials have 10.7% of this market share.
Will more Millennials jump on the bandwagon in 2023?
What about Gen X, the generation that either didn’t engage in the survey, or that has little to no market share in women’s business?
9. In a 2022 Women in Business Trends Report, 40% of Women in Business Claimed They Are Very Happy.
If you’re a woman in business reading this, you may be part of the 40.4% of those who are “Very Happy” in their businesses.
That’s how most women-business owners responded.
However, you may be part of the “Very Unhappy” (2.6%), “Somewhat Unhappy” (14.9%), “Neutral” (8.8%), or “Somewhat Happy” (33.3%) responses from this survey.
These responses are recorded on charts provided by the 2022 Women in Business Trends from Guidant Financial related to the 2021 figures.
10. In 2022, 59.2% of Women in Business Said They Were Currently Profitable.
Moreover, the 2022 Women in Business Trends data shows that in 2022, 59.2% of women said they were in profit.
That’s significant it the wake of a global pandemic that had everyone locked down for more than a year.
A whopping 38.4% of women-owned businesses said hiring talent over the past year was very difficult.
Only 1.4% said it was very easy. The main difficulties were believed to be because of the lack of applicants interested in the positions offered, at a 48.8% response from women in business.
Women in Startups Statistics
In this section, we are starting from the beginning of the journey for women in business.
Why, how, and where are women starting new businesses.
How do they compare to men in business? Let’s find out.
11. Women Accounted for 49% of All Startups in 2021.
This figure of 49% of startups by women in 2021 is a stark contrast to the 28% of new businesses being started in 2019.
That’s quite the leap in only two years. In fact, it’s close to double.
This figure also means that 49% of women American entrepreneurs were women in 2021.
Therefore, that number also nearly doubled from 2019. During the pandemic women drove new business creation over men.
In 2021, 42% of new businesses were started by men compared to the 49% of startups by women.
12. Female Founders only Got 2% of Venture Capital in 2021 in The United States.
Oddly, this data about female founders getting only 2% of VC (venture capital) in the United States in 2021 is the lowest amount since 2016.
How could it go backwards? VC funding hasn’t been given out as freely to women founders.
In 2018, women founders of startups got 2.8% of VC in the United States, which is the highest in 5 years.
Consider this. In 2020, companies in the United States raised a massive $329.9 billion in VC, of which only 2.5 went to female founders.
13. The Proportion of New Companies with Female Founders Was 14% in 2021.
In 2021, 14% is the proportion of unicorns that have at least one female founder. This is equal to the 2019 proportion.
In 2020, it was 11%, and in 2018 it was at 9%. However, back in 2017, it was 12%.
It appears that these proportions fluctuate over the years among unicorn companies. What’s a unicorn in terms of startups?
A “unicorn startup” is a private company that is valued at or over one billion dollars. It’s called a unicorn because of the rarity of this kind of success.
14. According to the 2022 NWBC report, Startups in The United States with At Least One Female Founder Got 17.2% of The VC Raised in 2022.
When we look back a couple of statistics,17.2% of the VC in 2022 for startups with at least one female founder is a step forward from the 2% seen in 2021.
This 17.2% comes from the first half of 2022.
Consequently, startups founded solely by a woman only raised 2.4% of VC in 2022.
Why? Male investors are less apt to invest in women-founded startups and women are less apt than men to be founders of scalable startups.
It’s believed that 2023 will be better. We shall see.
(NWBC 2022 Report)
15. 37% of Women in Business Are More Apt to Mitigate Their Investment Risk via Putting Their Money in Startups.
Women with money are more sophisticated than male investors in that they are investing in startups to diversify their portfolios to mitigate their investment risk.
Only 18% of men are willing to mitigate investment risk by diversifying their portfolios by investing in startups.
Women investors are twice as likely to invest in startups.
Women are also more apt to depend on financial advisors than men, at 45% versus 31%.
Men prefer to self-manage their portfolios than women, at 54% versus 45%.
(NWBC 2022 Report)
Statistics on Women in Business & It’s Challenges
Earlier, we mentioned that women in business have many challenges to overcome.
We will dedicate this section to those challenges and to some best practices for success.
16. Access to Capital or Funding for Women-Owned Businesses Is Lacking.
It’s harder for women to get loans and capital from male investors, banks, and other conventional lenders.
They often rely heavily on government or local grants or angel investors unless they have family or friends willing to invest.
Today, there are some entities that help more women start new businesses by helping them raise capital.
The NWBC is one of a few that do this. Still, the barrier is there for women who want to own a business.
(Forbes, NWBC 2022 Report)
17. Women Have More Problems with Getting Adequate Support to Start or Maintain a Business.
We see a lot of memes and articles about building a “tribe” to be your support system.
While there is nothing wrong with that concept, it’s harder to achieve than one might think.
For women in business, the lack of a sufficient support system can cause them to struggle or even fail in business.
Access to better and more funding along with a solid support system can help women be more successful.
For instance, sponsors, mentors, and other women that have been there and done that make for an excellent tribe of supporters.
18. Most Women Aren’t Comfortable with Promoting Themselves.
In a world where women are more assertive and aggressive, we still see many as timid and uncomfortable with self-promotion.
That’s common. Women aren’t unable to tout their achievements, but they fear their counterparts labeling them as boastful, arrogant, or too proud.
There’s a difference between being humble and being timid or shy.
It’s okay to shout out your accomplishments without lacking humility.
You aren’t arrogant or too proud when you share your great news of your big accomplishments on social media, or any public space.
We need to learn that.
19. The Concept of Gender Inequality in Business Is Still an Obstacle.
Gender inequality occurs all over the globe, but it’s much worse in patriarchal societies.
Where the culture is patriarchal, the women are more subdued. If that’s their culture and they enjoy their way of life, that’s okay.
However, in parts of the globe where women want to own businesses and be their own bosses, they must prove themselves all the time to the higher powers to get promoted or to get funding for a business.
Even with laws and regulations in place in some countries that are more favorable towards women now than they used to be, women must fight their way up the corporate ladder in business, or compromise more to get access to business funding.
That said, it’s much more possible today for any women to own their own business than it has been in the past.
20. Work-Life Balancing Is Another Challenge for Women in Business.
Plenty of women out there are not married or partnered with someone, nor do they have children.
They may have more options for business than a single mom, a two-parent household, or a woman with extraneous responsibilities. That isn’t unusual.
Personal and professional demands are another obstacle for women in business.
Don’t think it’s impossible to balance your personal and professional life because it’s possible.
With solid social support in your community, you can feel better about fulfilling your responsibilities.
Success and Failure of Women in Business
Women in business, just like men in business can succeed or fail.
That’s a pretty level playing field when you remove the major obstacles of women not having access to funds, etc.
Let’s discuss a few statistics related to success and failure.
21. Research from Late 2022 Revealed that Women in Business Fail Less than Men.
According to KSA Group research from October 2021 to October 2022, men in business were more likely to fail than women in business.
In other words, male-owned businesses failed at a rate of 84% in this period, while women-owned businesses failed at a rate of 59%.
The study shows that companies owned by men were 42% more apt to go defunct in business than women.
This data is mostly post-pandemic, which is significant.
Does that mean that women are better at business than men? No. No discernible difference was revealed in the study.
22. The Fear of Failure Along Plays a Major Role in The Failure of Women-Owned Businesses.
We all know that fear is a massive emotion that can either drive failure or success.
The fear of failure is one of the mindsets that plays a huge role in the failure of women-owned businesses.
A study of the fear of failure and how it affects business failures revealed that this fear is known to directly influence a person’s motivation, aspirations, decisions, and even achievements on whether to engage in a business opportunity at all.
The percentage outcomes of the study showed that overall, women entrepreneurs experience higher levels of the fear of failure.
(International Journal of Instruction)
23. 66% of Women Who Started a Business During the Pandemic Are Sole Proprietors.
Being able to report that 66% of women who started business during the pandemic are sole proprietors shows success.
It’s a positive way to look at female entrepreneurship going into 2023 and beyond.
The takeaway here is that 66% of women are still operating their sole proprietorship since the pandemic and are doing it on their own.
You can feel confident about starting a sole proprietorship based on these statistics.
24. Women-Owned Businesses Are Known to Help Grow an Economy.
Whether women-owned businesses drive a local, regional, national, or international economy, they require support and funding to make it so.
As you have read through these women in business stats, you saw how female entrepreneurship drives economic growth.
Do you remember how much revenue women brought to the economy through their United States businesses from an earlier paragraph?
That amount is $1.9 trillion USD. That’s nearly $2 trillion just in the female business demographic.
That is why women-owned businesses should be supported in any way possible.
25. According to World Bank, Women in Business Show a Heighted Resilience During Crises.
World Bank conducted a survey that showed how resilient women-owned businesses are in a crisis.
Even in the peak of the pandemic, female-owned companies were the innovative and resilient, according to the survey.
The world of business requires business owners to be adaptable to challenges and in management.
Women have shown their elevated level adaptability and resilience even in the height of COVID-19.
Women have many challenges to overcome in the business world, especially in regard to funding accessibility, but they build strong businesses that can withstand even a global pandemic.
Women in Business Global Statistics
In this section, we will discuss a few global statistics to provide some perspective.
26. There Are Roughly 252 Million Women Entrepreneurs Worldwide.
As of 2019, there were around 252 million women entrepreneurs all over the globe.
Also, there are another 153 million women in business who are engaged in well-established businesses.
Over the past 20 years global female entrepreneurship has grown by 114%.
Even with the statistics showing a massive growth in women entrepreneurs, the figures are still lagging when compared to their male counterparts.
27. 12.6% of UAE Businesses Are Female Owned.
It might surprise you to know that 12.6 of businesses in the UAE have women owners.
In the Middle Eastern countries, you won’t see as many women in business as you might in other parts of the world.
The women in these regions are more apt to upgrade their businesses to the global level.
Currently, 75% of the 12.6% of the women in business in the United Arab Emirates are operating at the global level.
28. 50% Women of Latin American and The Caribbean Are Business Owners.
While the United States is known to have the most women in business, women have 50% of the market share in entrepreneurship in Caribbean and Latin American when combined.
Some of this is likely due to necessity, while some instances are because they enjoy what they are doing.
Right behind Latin American and the Caribbean regions are the Pacific and East Asia regions, which have 47% of the share.
(What to Become)
29. According to the MIWE chart, New Zealand Ranked Second for Supporting Women in Business.
The women of New Zealand have plenty and positive support for their entrepreneurial spirit.
As a result, the women of New Zealand have kept their solid lead on the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) chart.
With a 69.8 score, New Zealand is singled out for its support and attitude towards its female businesswomen.
They recognize that women drive the economy with their businesses and supportive communities.
(The Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs)
30. Women Account for 51% of The Whole European Population and 31% of Them Are Entrepreneurs.
Global women in business statistics show us that they are still in the minority when it comes to business ownership in Europe.
Women make up 51% of Europe’s total population. Only 31% of that population are entrepreneurs.
Also, only 39.4% are self-employed without being business owners. In Europe, they seem to choose to be self-employed over starting a business.
Did you know that there are 16 million self-employed workers in Europe?
What Are Some Well-Known Companies that Were Startups and Are Still Successful Today?
Canva, the graphic design tool that is free-to-use (or subscription based) for creating logos, social media posts, POD designs, videos, presentations, and more, is successful.
Canva was a startup in 2013 with Melanie Perkins at the helm, who is still the co-founder and CEO of the company.
Also, Beautycounter, which was founded by Gregg Renfrew in 2013.
Gregg is known as an American businessperson and entrepreneur. Beautycounter is quite successful and is owned by The Carlyle Group where Renfrew will serve as its Executive Chair and CBO.
Who Is the Average Woman in Business Today?
Today’s average woman in business can be described as the sole owner of her company who is about 42 years old on average and has been in business for over 11 years.
Also, she has a household income of at least $110,000 or more.
As Gen Z gets older and starts their own businesses, the average description of a female business owner will change.
Who Is the Most Famous Women in Business?
Gina Rinehart is known as the most famous female businesswomen in the world.
Her net worth is $16.5 billion. She is the owner of the Hancock Prospecting Group, a mining company.
She’s known as the sixth richest woman in the world, but the richest person in Australia.
How Many CEOs are Women?
Data from 2021 suggests that there are 41 women CEOs working at Fortune 500 companies.
This represents 8% of women who are CEOs in American companies where the highest revenues are generated.
Also, for the third consecutive year, the number of women in CEO positions has risen.
For the first time in history, two leading Fortune 500 companies in American have African American women at their helm.
Which Country Has the Most Women in Business?
One study conducted by the Global Entrepreneurship Research Association discovered that the most widespread women business owners are in the Americas and the Arabian Peninsula.
The countries with the highest percentage of female entrepreneurs include Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Panama, Chile, and the United States.
Overall, the United States wins the number one spot for the most women entrepreneurs, but New Zealand, Canada, and Israel aren’t far behind.
After reading this article, you can see how women entrepreneurs is a growing and thriving ideal across the globe with a large concentration in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and Israel.
Europe has some female entrepreneurs, but they seem to prefer to be self-employed workers without owning a business.
There could be many reasons for this that include desire and risk.
You can see there are many opportunities and possibilities for women to own and operate their own small business, startup, or any size business.
There is growth in not only female entrepreneurship, but in women CEOs in Fortune 500 companies as well as small to large organizations across the globe.
While there are still more men than women business owners in the world, women have more opportunities now than they ever have before in the business world.
We hope you have taken away some positive things from this article by reading these women in business statistics for 2023.