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Posts tagged: Women-owned businesses

State of women-owned businesses: some upsides, some downsides

A recent overview of women in the workplace shows that Seattle is ranked 20th in the nation in growth of women-owned businesses over the past 15 years. Washington state was ranked 35th out of all states in the growth of number of women-owned businesses. 

But while this is interesting stuff, here is a key statistical caveat, presented by the group that collected the data (a foundation created by American Express):
Data from the past three censuses – 1997, 2002, and 2007 – were collated, analyzed and extrapolated forward to 2012, factoring in relative changes in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) not only nationally but also at industry and state levels. State-level GDP changes over the period of analysis are applied to our estimates of change at the metropolitan level.
So to be accurate, this isn't up-to-date information, but it's useful in a limited way. To see an overview of the full report, it's here.
The data was analyzed and used to create three rankings: growth in number of women-owned firms, growth in those firms' revenue, and growth in employment. Seattle was 20th out of 25 major cities on number of new women-owned businesses. But when all three categories were measured, it did better.
The top 10 cities when combining all three rankings into overall ranking are:
Washington, D.C.
San Antonio
Tampa/St. Petersburg
(tie) Seattle and Portland 
The other big-picture piece of information reported by American Express is:  “Nationally, the number of women-owned businesses has increased by 54 percent since 1997.”
And: “Despite the fact that women-owned firms continue to grow at rates exceeding all but the largest U.S. corporations and account for 29 percent of all enterprises, women-owned firms employ 6 percent of the country’s workforce and contribute just under 4 percent of business revenues. Even when comparing the contributions of women-owned firms only to privately held businesses, women contribute just 14 percent of employment and 11 percent of revenues.”

Women own 8.1 million businesses

Women own 8.1 million businesses in the United States, and new business starts exceed the rate for all groups, according to a study released Thursday by American Express.

The study, based on U.S. Census Bureau data, found the rate of increase for women-owned businesses in Washington and Idaho trails the national average, but revenues are growing at a significantly faster pace.

The number of business owned by women increased 50 percent from 1997 to 2011, the study says.

The rate of increase in Washington, with 86,700 businesses, was 35.1 percent. In Idaho, where women own 36,300 businesses, was 40.9 percent.

Nationally, revenues grew 53 percent, to $1.3 trillion. Revenues in Washington increase 65.4 percent to $25 billion. In Idaho, the total $4.2 billion was an 75.7 percent jump.

Women-owned businesses employ 7.7 million workers; 439,600 in Washington, 120,600 in Idaho.

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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.

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Alison Boggs (@alisonboggs) Online Producer Alison Boggs posts and manages content on and its social networking accounts.

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Scott Maben Scott Maben is a Deputy City Editor who covers North Idaho news and higher education.

Addy Hatch is the city editor, and formerly was business editor.

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