Women in Business Survey Reveals Trends and Stats

Women in Business Survey reveals trends and stats

In a State of Small Business survey of more than 2,700 men and women small business owners and entrepreneurs, Guidant Financial uncovered that women business owners have significant differences from their male counterparts. The survey shows that women entrepreneurs are younger and more educated, plus more resourceful in where they find funding.

Women Entrepreneurs are Increasingly More Diverse and Educated Compared to Men Key findings include:

  • 25% of female small business owners are African-American. Only 14% of male small business owners are African-American.
    • Women entrepreneurs skew younger than their male counterparts.
    • 52% of females surveyed were over the age of 50, compared to 59% of men.
    • 29% of females surveyed were between 40 and 49, compared to 24% of men.
    • 19% of females surveyed were under the age of 40, compared to 17%of men.
  • Nearly 3 out of 4 (72%) of female small business owners have pursued higher education, compared to 65% of their male

    • 38% more women than men have Associate’s degrees.
    • 20% more women than men have Master’s degrees.
    • 3% more men than women have Bachelor’s degrees.
    • Both 4% of male and female small business owners have Doctorate degrees.
  • Women are 48% more likely to be concerned about the effects of the political climate on small business than men.
  • Female ownership in health, beauty, and fitness businesses increased 55% year over year, while food-related businesses and restaurants increased by 45% year over year.
  • The most popular industries for women-owned small businesses:
    • 1) Health, beauty, and fitness 2) Food-related and restaurant 3) Business services 4) General retail 5) Education
  • 36% of women small business owners use cash to get their business off the ground, compared to 32% of men. Funding from friends and family is the next most popular form of financing for women, at 17% compared to men’s 11%.
  • Women are more interested in starting new businesses or franchise locations instead of purchasing pre-established businesses of franchise locations, with 58% of women starting their business from scratch.
  • The profitability of woman-owned businesses is up by 3% from the prior year but still lags behind male-owned businesses. 71% of female-owned businesses reported profitability, compared to 80% of male-owned businesses.
  • Four of every 10 U.S. businesses are owned by women, with female-led businesses having grown a spectacular 58% from 2007 to 2018.
  • #1 motivation for opening a business: “wanted to pursue my own passion” followed by “ready to be my own boss”

An accompanying white paper and infographic can be found HERE


Between November 6, 2018 and November 16, 2018, Guidant Financial and LendingClub conducted an email survey of more than 2,700 male and female small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii. Ages of respondents ranged from 18 to over 70.

In addition, we encourage you to contact us to speak directly to Guidant Financial CEO David Nilssen who can provide a wealth of knowledge on the survey as well as how women can get started and grow their businesses. Please contact me should you want more information or have any questions.