Women-owned Small Businesses: Industry and revenue in 2011

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This is Part 1 of a two-part article on small businesses owned by Caucasian women (i.e. white women). Part 1 examines the industry distribution and annual sales of women businesses in 2011. Part 2 will discuss the regional distribution, employment size and years of operation of women-owned businesses.

The Gazelle Index was created because little or no current information is available on minority-owned and women-owned small businesses. The latest government survey was conducted in 2007. While that information is based on a census of all small businesses, it is very outdated.

The Gazelle Index is the first ever national quarterly survey of the outlook and hiring plans of minority, women and non-minority small-business owners. The responses of business owners were broken down by blacks, Latinos, women and non-minorities. Future surveys will include Asian Americans.

The survey is based on 631 responses from randomly selected CEOs who operated businesses with 10 to 100 employees. The results have a margin of error of + or -5% for each race and gender group.

Minority business owners comprised 55.6% of respondents, women made up 38.7%; blacks accounted for 33.6% and Latinos made up 19.8%.

This report provides a national profile of women-owned small businesses with 10 to 100 employees. It is based on a randomly selected survey population of 1,143 businesses that are owned by white women.

Government Survey of Business Owners

The Census Bureau’s survey of small businesses (i.e. the Survey of Business Owners) indicated that between 1982 — 2007, woman-owned businesses increased significantly, but not as fast as did minority-owned businesses; they grew from 2.6 million to 7.8 million or by 198%.

Businesses owned by African Americans increased from 308,260 to 1.9 million or by 523%.  The growth in the number of Asian-owned businesses was slightly greater than was the growth of African American-owned businesses; they increased from 241,806 to 1.6 million, or by 545%.

Latino-owned businesses grew fastest among all minority groups (except for Native Americans) – from 284,011 in 1982 to 2.3 million in 2007, or by 696%. Minority-owned companies employed 6% of the US workforce in 2007.

 Women-owned small businesses comprise 29% of the nation’s 27 million small businesses. They employed 7.6 million workers and generated $1.2 trillion in receipts in 2007.

Minority-owned firms are growing rapidly and are an increasing share of all small businesses (they now account for 21% of the nation’s 27 million small businesses).

Gazelle Index Survey: Industry Distribution

The Gazelle Index created a national random sample of 1,443 Caucasian women-owned small businesses with employment sizes between 10 to 100 workers.

The industry having the highest concentration of women businesses was food, entertainment and hospitality services, which consisted of 12.5% of all businesses.

The industry with the second largest concentration was health, education and social services, 12.2%; this was followed respectively by manufacturing, 10.8%; retail trades 9.4%; personal and repair services, 8.1%; construction, and 7.1% wholesale trades, 7.1%.

The smallest industry concentration for women-owned firms was information services, 2.4%.

Annual Revenue

The average revenue of women-owned small businesses was $1.9 million in 2011. The industry with the largest annual revenue was wholesale trades, $4.6 million; followed respectively by information services, $3.2 million; manufacturing, $3.0 million; finance, insurance and real estate, $2.7 million. The industry with the lowest annual revenue was food, entertainment and hospitality services, $674,339.

Note: The 17 page report entitled, Economic Outlook for Minorities, Women and Non-minority Businesses in 2012 is currently available. Copies are free of charge and available for download.

Last modified: June 26, 2012

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