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Women & Entrepreneurship Statistics

Find out what women are currently doing in the world of business.

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43% of women business owners (vs. 32% of men) say the one thing they need to be more successful is money.
–OPEN from American Express, November 2006

27% of women business owners will invest in new technology such as computers and software over the next six months.
–OPEN from American Express, November 2006

56% of women business owners plan to make their business environmentally friendly by recycling waste products.
–OPEN from American Express, November 2006

94% of corporations send supplier diversity representatives to women’s business conferences and trade fairs.
–Center for Women’s Business Research, November 2006

Between 1997 and 2006, the number of majority women-owned businesses increased 42%.
–Center for Women’s Business Research, September 2006

In 2006, majority women-owned businesses are expected to generate $1.1 trillion in revenues.
–Center for Women’s Business Research, September 2006

79% of women business owners are concerned when selling their business about the buyer’s plans for the business compared to 52% of men.
–Center for Women’s Business Research, May 2006

85% of women surveyed don’t believe being a woman is detrimental to their business success, while 32% believe it’s beneficial.
–Center for Women’s Business Research, December 2005

Women are more likely to own a majority share of their business, 77% to 69%.
–Center for Women’s Business Research, December 2005

69% of women entrepreneurs say they feel confident with the decisions they make regarding external financing for their businesses.
–Center for Women’s Business Research, 2005

32% of women business owners believe being a women in a male-dominated industries is beneficial.
–Center for Women’s Business Research, 2005

30% of women business owners plan to pass their businesses onto their daughters, while only 11% of male business owners plan to do the same.
–Center for Women’s Business Research, 2005

10.6 million firms are at least 50% owned by a woman or women.
–Center for Women’s Business Research, 2005

48%, nearly half, of all privately-held firms are at least 50% owned by a woman or women.
–Center for Women’s Business Research, 2005

Between 1997 and 2004, the estimated growth rate in the number of women-owned firms was nearly twice that of all firms (17% vs. 9%), employment expanded at twice the rate of all firms (24% vs. 12%), and estimated revenues kept pace with all firms (39% vs. 34%).
–Center for Women’s Business Research, 2005

Privately-held 50% or more women-owned firms are just as likely as all privately-held firms to have employees (23% of women-owned firms compared to 25% of all firms).
–Center for Women’s Business Research, 2005

Annual expenditures by women-owned enterprises for just four areas–information technology ($38 billion), telecommunications ($25 billion), human resources services ($23 billion), and shipping ($17 billion)–are estimated to be $103 billion.
–Center for Women’s Business Research, 2005

Between 1997 and 2004, privately-held 50% or more women-owned firms diversified into all industries with the fastest growth in construction (30% growth), transportation, communications and public utilities (28% growth), and agricultural serves (24% growth).
–Center for Women’s Business Research, 2005

The number of women-owned firms with employees has expanded by an estimated 28% between 1997 and 2004, three times the growth rate of all firms with employees.
–Center for Women’s Business Research, 2005

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Liat Karpel Gurwicz

    Jul 18, 2012 at 00:27

    Great article! Unfortunately, even though women make up 46.6% of the US labor force for 2012, they still face a lonely climb to the top.
    Take a look at this infographic on women in business for 2012:
    http://walkingtheking.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/women-in-business-2012-infographic/

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11 Quotes On Hard Work, Risk-Taking And Getting Started From Beauty Billionaire Estee Lauder

The cosmetics tycoon provides lessons on the importance of passion and perseverance.

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Like most entrepreneurs, passion was at the core of cosmetics tycoon Estee Lauder. From a young age, Lauder was obsessed with beauty, and it wasn’t before long that she turned her dreams into reality. With the help of her chemist uncle, Lauder developed creams and other products that she would sell to local beauty stores in her hometown of Queens, N.Y. In 1946, Lauder officially launched her now world-renowned beauty company Estee Lauder with her husband Joseph Lauder. The business skyrocketed to success.

In 1998, Lauder was the only woman to land on Time’s top 20 business geniuses of the 20th century. In 2004, the year Lauder died, the beauty entrepreneur was named Time’s person of the year. Estee Lauder has become one of the biggest brands in beauty, with a worth of more than $50 billion. The company employs more than 46,000 people worldwide.

To learn more from Lauder and the cosmetics empire she built, here are 11 inspirational quotes on hard work, perseverance and getting started.

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Funding For Women Entrepreneurs – A Collective Effort

The bottom line is that while funders need to stretch further to reach female entrepreneurs, these entrepreneurs need to make their own efforts to connect and ready themselves to tap these resources. Only then will the latent economic value of women in our economy reach its full potential.

Jenny Retief

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It is well recognised that women are powerful drivers of economic growth in South Africa, and are vital to the country reaching its full economic potential. Yet women account for only 18% percent of business owners in South Africa, according to the second Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE), released earlier this year.

The reasons are many, including lack of financial literacy, but one of the biggest constraints facing women entrepreneurs is access to finance. As most women entrepreneurs are concentrated in the informal sector, the majority of them access financing through micro-lending institutions, which offer only limited support. When they are ready to grow into SMMEs, they again face difficulties in obtaining loans from commercial banks.

According to the ‘Inaugural South African SMME Access to Finance Report’, published last year by the online access to finance portal Finfind, the SMME sector provides a “compelling, largely untapped market opportunity for innovative funders”, estimating the SMME credit gap at between R86bn and R346bn.

Finfind’s research showed that many SMMEs that are eligible for funding are still unable to secure it due to their lack of finance readiness, i.e., they are unable to produce the financial documentation required by funders to assess bankability and affordability, in order to approve their funding applications. These documents include up-to-date management accounts, latest financial statements, budgets, forecasts and tax clearance certificates, among others.

Related: Funding And Financial Assistance For SA Women Entrepreneurs

This was reiterated at the recent African Youth Networks Summit in Tswhane, where the head of Old Mutual Foundation Millicent Maroga stressed, “the key issue is a distinct lack of support in getting the business ready for funding”.

Enter initiatives like the Riversands Incubation Hub, a campus north of Sandton that houses over 150 established and start-up small businesses in subsidised premises, with access to business support services. One of its key values to its SMMEs is bridging the gap between them and the many players in the funding space, in particular through its annual FundEX event, a platform giving guidance and helping to match entrepreneurs with funders.

“Contrary to popular belief, there is funding available. FundEX provides practical guidance on what funding is available and what it takes to access this capital. It also gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to interact with a variety of funders, including banks, government funders and alternative funding platforms,” says Jenny Retief, CEO of Riversands Incubation Hub.

The theme this year is ‘Secrets of Scale’, unpacking what it takes to build a ‘fundable’ business. This is highly pertinent, as much of the complexity in the SMME funding environment is seated in the size of the business, and what stage of growth it is at.

Finfind’s research found that although SMMEs and start-ups may qualify for venture capital funding, funding opportunities for less scalable SMMEs are less promising. “This opens the door for new, innovative funding models to serve this section of the SMME market. Start-ups and micro-businesses represent a significant potential market for innovative funders who are able to develop new lending models tailored to address this growing market,” said the report.

As women proliferate in this space, they need to equip themselves with as much as information as possible about the funding opportunities out there, says Retief.

“The DTI, for example, offers funding programmes, and aggregators such as FinFind and others can help entrepreneurs navigate the more than 400 different funding solutions available in SA. Entrepreneurs can also boost their business by regular engagement with a mentor. Many incubation programmes offer this type of support,” she says.

Related: Watch List: 50 Black African Women Entrepreneurs To Watch

There are also many initiatives to bring resources closer to entrepreneurs. For example, the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) offers Technology Stations in diversified sectors, ranging from agro-processing, chemicals, clothing and textiles to tooling. These provide entrepreneurs access to university-level technical levels and specialised equipment at affordable pricing levels.

This speaks to upskilling, a key offering of incubation hubs and critical for women entrepreneurs needing to become finance literate. “At Riversands, we have a team of coaches and mentors who guide entrepreneurs in specific areas such as finance or strategy. Relevant educational material is regularly presented in formal as well as informal ways and reinforced with practical coaching to help entrepreneurs put theory into practice in their own businesses.  This is flanked with professional bookkeeping services provided on a subsidised basis. This allows business owners to build the financial records and systems their businesses need to qualify for understanding,” says Retief.

The bottom line is that while funders need to stretch further to reach female entrepreneurs, these entrepreneurs need to make their own efforts to connect and ready themselves to tap these resources. Only then will the latent economic value of women in our economy reach its full potential.

Riversands FundEX takes place on August 16. For more information visit: http://www.fundex.co.za

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13 Female Entrepreneurs Rising To The Top In SA

These 13 black businesswomen are rapidly rising stars. You can learn from their journey and their entrepreneurial advice.

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Women all over the world are the powerhouses behind some of the newest, innovative start-ups and concept businesses. South African businesswomen are gaining momentum in this global arena too, with success stories like the 13 ladies below.

Female-led business growth is happening in South Africa, despite the latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) statistics showing that only 6.2% of South African females take the leap into entrepreneurship.

These 13 black female businesswomen are going against statistical trends and represent some of the rising stars in South Africa’s entrepreneurial landscape. 

  1. Boitumelo Ntsoane
  2. Phuti Mahanyele 
  3. DJ Zinhle 
  4. Polo Leteka Radebe
  5. Michelle Okafor
  6. Sonia Booth
  7. Basetsana Kumalo
  8. Sibongile Sambo
  9. Molemo Kgomo
  10. Nkhensani Nkosi
  11. Bonang Matheba
  12. Matsi Modise
  13. Khanyi Dhlomo
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