The U.S. Census Bureau first started reporting trends on minority- and women-owned businesses in 1972. Back then, only 402,000 businesses were owned by women. As of 2018, there were 12.3 million women-owned businesses, which is a three-thousand percent increase.
In the last eleven years alone, the number of overall businesses increased by just twelve percent while the number of women-owned businesses increased by fifty-eight percent. This is a true testament to how far women have come in America.
Can you believe that in 1988, women who needed a bank loan were required to have a male co-signer? The removal of this requirement undoubtedly contributed to the increase of women-owned businesses today, but there is still a gap. For example, one study found that even today, women founders who apply for bank loans receive forty-five percent less money than their male counterparts.
With forty percent of American businesses owned by women, we have truly made leaps and bounds in the business world. However, there is still more work to be done.
The “soft skills” that women are typically known for make them uniquely qualified to excel as business leaders, so a woman should never be underestimated when she has the ambition to start her own business from scratch.