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Report Reveals Women Business Owners Surpass Market Growth

Report Reveals Women Business Owners Surpass Market Growth

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The 2024 Wells Fargo Impact of Women-Owned Business Report brings to light the remarkable contribution of women-owned businesses to the U.S. economy.

Read the Wells Fargo original press release.

Representing 39.1% of all businesses, these enterprises, totaling over 14 million, employ 12.2 million workers and generate an impressive $2.7 trillion in revenue. What’s particularly noteworthy is the exceptional growth trajectory of women-owned businesses, which, between 2019 and 2023, increased at almost double the rate of those owned by men. This growth rate further accelerated from 2022 to 2023, reaching 4.5 times that of male-owned businesses.

Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, women entrepreneurs demonstrated their resilience by not only weathering the storm but by launching more businesses than they closed during the onset of the pandemic in 2020. This resilience was also reflected in the growth of their workforces and increased revenues, in stark contrast to the decline experienced by businesses owned by men.

The impact of women-owned businesses extended beyond mere survival. During the pandemic, they added a substantial 1.4 million jobs and contributed $579.6 billion in revenue to the economy. Even among those with revenues between $250,000 and $999,999, almost half a million women-owned businesses saw their aggregate revenues grow by about 30%, illustrating their ambition and readiness to break the $1 million revenue threshold.

An intriguing aspect is the robust growth of Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino women-owned businesses during the pandemic and the transition to the post-pandemic period. Between 2019 and 2023, Black/African American women-owned businesses witnessed a significant 32.7% increase in average revenues, while Hispanic/Latino women-owned businesses experienced a notable 17.1% rise, both outpacing the 12.1% growth of all women-owned businesses.

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Despite the impressive growth, there is room for further empowerment. While women-owned businesses represent nearly 40% of U.S. firms, they account for only 9.2% of the workforce and 5.8% of revenue. Closing the gap in average revenues for ethnically or racially diverse women-owned businesses alone has the potential to generate an additional $667 billion in revenue. Additionally, closing the revenue gap between women- and men-owned businesses could contribute a substantial $7.9 trillion to the nation’s economy.

The report emphasizes the need for continued and tailored support to specific demographic segments of women entrepreneurs. This includes removing barriers to capital, providing technical assistance, and offering support with business certification. The growth of women-owned businesses, especially those with 50 or more employees, underscores their strength and adaptability, marking a positive trend during and post the pandemic era.

Read the Wells Fargo original press release.

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