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.
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.
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.
Of 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. Now, 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.”