1. Business Ideas
  2. Business Plans
  3. Startup Basics
  4. Startup Funding
  5. Franchising
  6. Success Stories
  7. Entrepreneurs
  1. Sales & Marketing
  2. Finances
  3. Your Team
  4. Technology
  5. Social Media
  6. Security
  1. Get the Job
  2. Get Ahead
  3. Office Life
  4. Work-Life Balance
  5. Home Office
  1. Leadership
  2. Women in Business
  3. Managing
  4. Strategy
  5. Personal Growth
  1. HR Solutions
  2. Financial Solutions
  3. Marketing Solutions
  4. Security Solutions
  5. Retail Solutions
  6. SMB Solutions
Product and service reviews are conducted independently by our editorial team, but we sometimes make money when you click on links. Learn more.
Lead Your Team Women in Business

Women Now Own One-Third of US Businesses

Women Now Own One-Third of US Businesses
Credit: Nivens/Shutterstock

The number of women taking the plunge to open their own business is on the rise, new research finds

Female entrepreneurs launched 887 new businesses each day last year, on average, and now own 30 percent of all enterprises in the United States, according to a study from American Express OPEN.

The study's authors believe the growth rate is another sign that business creation has recovered from the Great Recession. The number of female-owned firms has increased by 21 percent since 2007, which is more than the 20 percent increase in the five years before the recession. Additionally, it's significantly larger than the 7 percent growth rate during the recession.

"Women-owned businesses are key contributors to the post-recession recovery," Lisette Bernstein, vice president at American Express OPEN, said in a statement.

The number of women opening their own businesses has grown tremendously over the last two decades. Since 1997, the number of female-owned businesses has increased by nearly 75 percent, while the revenue they generated has grown by 79 percent. In addition, these new businesses have created more than 800,000 jobs. [Women of Tech: 8 Amazing Female Entrepreneurs ]

Helping lead the growth has been minority women. In 1997, minorities started just 1-in-6 female-owned businesses. Today, that number has increased to 1 in 3. In the past year alone, minorities launched nearly 500 of the 887 new female-owned businesses started each day.

Overall, researchers estimate that in 2015 there are just over 9.4 million female-owned businesses in the U.S., generating nearly $1.5 trillion in revenue and employing more than 7.9 million people.

Women are focusing their entrepreneurial attention in some areas more than others. The study revealed that the industries with the highest concentration of female-owned businesses are health care and social assistance, educational services, administrative support and waste management services.

The research also shows that some states are doing more than others to foster the development of female entrepreneurs. In the past 18 years, Georgia has seen a 132 percent increase in the number of female-owned businesses, more than any other state. Texas, North Carolina, North Dakota and New York are the other states with a large increase in female-owned organizations.  Alaska, West Virginia, Iowa, Kansas and Maine are the states that have seen the slowest growth.

The report also found that the states with the highest combined economic clout for female-owned firms, which combines the growth rate with their generated revenue and job creation, are North Dakota, Wyoming, Washington, D.C., Arizona, Georgia and Nevada.

The study was based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, specifically its business census, which is conducted every five years.

Chad  Brooks
Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.