LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. – There is a national trend in women empowerment over the passed decade that exists within business ownership, with a 20 percent growth in female-owned businesses between 2002 and 2007.
What makes this growth so significant? Between 2002 and 2007, there has been an 18 percent increase in businesses across the nation. In that time, the amount of women-owned businesses has gone up 20.1 percent and men-owned businesses only 5.5 percent.
While women are dominating men in the percent change of owned businesses from year-to-year, men still hold the title for owning the most businesses nationwide.
According to a December 2010 press release from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners, in 2007 women-owned businesses still “lag” behind businesses owned by men, who account for 51.3 percent of all businesses. But that’s not by much.
Throughout history, women have been fighting for certain rights and equality among many different aspects of life. Many of the movements were through waves of feminism. While those movements of women empowerment have been historically documented, the numbers over time have shown that more and more women are beginning to own more newly owned businesses than men, which is very empowering within its own data.
The New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners (NJAWBO) state president Willa Edgerton-Chisler believes there are a few factors that are driving the increase of women-owned businesses.
“Number one, you have nesters,” said Edgerton-Chisler. “They are women who were homemakers, and their children have gone to school, but they decided to turn something they are passionate about into a business.”
While “nesters” are a big contribution to the increase in women-owned businesses, corporate setting is a large contributor, but probably in an unexpected way.
“Women in the corporate setting trying to balance corporate life and caretaker of the family found that some companies don’t embrace that type of philosophy that give them a liberty to work from home,” Edgerton-Chisler said.
Her third reason for the jump in women-owned businesses was on a more personal note, yet true among many women in many cases during the current recession and the layoff trend in corporate America.
Instead of going back in that setting, some women have decided, like myself, to create their own businesses, said Edgerton-Chisler.
Statistics on women-owned business are calculated every four-to-five years on the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners, the number of firms owned by women increase by roughly a million every cluster of years, since 1897.
In 1987, 4.1 million businesses accounted for all kinds of firms that were owned by women. In 2007, 10 years later, women nearly doubled that ownership by accounting for 7.8 million businesses nationwide.
While there has been a total of 4.1 million new businesses nationwide between 2002 and 2007, women-owned businesses account for 1.3 million of the new businesses, and men account for 726,600, and the rest make up an unmarked variable.
It is fairly accurate to deduce from the numbers that women have dominated men in their new ownership in that specific time period.
In addition, women also compute to a greater percent change of ownership across all states, as compared to the men-owned businesses, which also shows that women are beginning to be in higher positions.
Men trail the women when it comes to ownership in Georgia. In the 2002-2007 period, women have a percent change of 44 percent, doubling the men’s change of 20.4 percent.
Women also dominate in percent change across the board in business ownership in other popular states, such as California, New York, New Jersey and Nevada, among many more.
While it is significant that women have own more new businesses between 2002 and 2007, the historical data provided by the Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners do not break it down by men-owned business stats before 2007.
A possible contender to the rise in women-owned businesses is the amount of women enrolled in college compared to men.
“I do know women are enrolling in college or going back to school, so can you correlate the two together? Sure,” said Edgerton-Chisler. “When you talk about women and their abilities to do whatever it takes, the opportunities are endless, so if they need to go back to school, they go back to school.”
According to the Population Reference Bureau, the proportion of women enrolled in college has exceeded the enrollment rate for men, and account for 54 percent of the 10.8 million enrolled students population.
According to the Business Exchange through a 2007 study by the Forte Foundation, female enrollment at 25 of the top U.S. full-time MBA programs is roughly 31 percent. Many business schools leaders who would like to see that number increase are implementing new programs and strategies aimed at women.
“The next generation has a good advantage of creating businesses because technology has made it so easy,” said Edgerton-Chisler. “You can start a business in pretty much any industry, and because of technology, the ability to create a business is unlike it has ever been before, so it makes it very simple to go out and try it.”