Choosing to take the appropriate measures to advance our careers is a significant decision.
Ultimately, the right decision for one woman may be entirely wrong for another. The choice belongs to each of us. Industry asks and expects a lot. But the demands will only change when women push through changes so no one will be expected to sacrifice family for success in business.
After spending time in the corporate world, many women choose to open their own businesses so they have more control over their time. Successful corporate women manage the home front as well, if not better, than their careers. How they and their partners decide to tackle chores and responsibilities will be up to them.
In women-owned businesses, just 2% have $1 million or more in revenues. Within the population of million-dollar firms, 75% of all firms in the United States generate between $1 and $4.9 million in revenues, while just 13% meet or exceed the $10 million threshold.
Crossing the million-dollar revenue threshold is a feat that few U.S. firms achieve. Just 1 in 20 (5%) U.S. firms have met or exceeded the million-dollar threshold, and just 1 in 50 (2%) women-owned firms have scaled the “Heartbreak Hill” of the entrepreneurial marathon.
Between 2002 and 2012, the number of all women-owned firms has grown by 28.6%, slightly more than the 24.4% increase in all U.S. businesses. Similarly, the number of $1M+ women-owned firms has grown by 30.7%, just over the 28.9% increase in all million-dollar firms. But, at the highest end of sales achievement, the number of $10M+ women-owned firms has grown by 56.6% – fully 47% higher than the 38.4% increase among all $10M+ firms.
The share of firms reaching this rarified atmosphere remains small. Within the population of million-dollar firms, 75% have $1-$4.9 million, 12% have $5-$9.9 million, and 13% have $10 million or more in revenues.
Between 2002 and 2012, the number of women-owned firms with $10 million or more in revenues has nearly tripled in health care and social assistance (up 182.7%) and in education services (up 177.8%).
The industries with the greatest share of million-dollar firms that exceed the $10M threshold include: wholesale trade (20%), finance/insurance (12%), transportation/ warehousing (11%), and arts/entertainment/recreation (10%). In this analysis – looking within the population of million-dollar women-owned firms – women-owned firms in wholesale trade have achieved the highest level of firm revenues. Fully 20% of the million-dollar women-owned firms in this industry have topped the $10 million mark.
In summary, this analysis of previously unpublished Census data tells us that the growth of majority women-owned firms at the highest level of business achievement has been nothing short of remarkable.
Sources: This analysis continues the investigation of trends in women’s entrepreneurship provided by The State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, published by American Express OPEN. This analysis was prepared by Womenable, a research, program and policy development consultancy whose mission is to improve the environment for women-owned businesses worldwide.