U.S. Census Data Reports: Women-Owned Businesses Hit With $10 Trillion Annual Opportunity Loss

U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce calls for action to elevate the revenues of America's 10 million women-owned firms.

​The U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce ( http://www.uswcc.org ) has reported top level data from the recently released preliminary results of the 2012 Survey of Business Owners. Key data includes:

  • Women own 9.9 million representing 35.95% of all U.S. firms
  • Women-owned firms generate $1.6 trillion in revenues annually
  • Women-owned firms produce only 4.82% of all revenues from U.S. firms
  • The failure of women-owned firms to produce revenues commensurate with their numbers produces annual opportunity shortfall of over $10 trillion dollars

“The newly released U.S. Census data informs us that each year, women-owned firms are hit with an opportunity loss of over $10 trillion dollars,” states Margot Dorfman, CEO of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce. “This is a devastating opportunity loss for women business owners, their employees, families and community,” adds Dorfman.

“Unfortunately, the likely spin on the new U.S. Census Bureau data will focus on the dramatic increase in the number of women-owned firms rather than the continued challenges women face in securing elevated revenues. At the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, we know first-hand the tremendous growth in the number of women business owners — but we also see the day to day struggles women face as they work to grow their firms,” adds Dorfman.

“It’s time for federal, state and local governments to realize how much opportunity we are all losing by not addressing the needs of women business owners.  Failure to provide equitable access to capital, access to quality, mainstream business education, access to government and large corporate supplier markets, access to mentors and access to affordable health care and benefits are holding women back,” says Dorfman. “This opportunity loss impacts every American as our economy is failing to realize the full potential of American women entrepreneurs.”

The U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce also reports that firms owned by women of color experienced even greater challenges as they struggled when compared to the revenues produced by firms owned by white women. Black women own 15.37% of all women-owned firms (5.53% of total firms), but generate only 2.73% of all revenues produced by women-owned firms (0.13% of total firms). Hispanic women-owned firms also show a significant opportunity loss.  Hispanic women own 5.34% of all U.S. firms but produce only .25% of annual revenues.

The Census data also reveals that there are 384,549 veteran-women-owned firms in the U.S. representing 1.39% of all firms. Veteran-women-owned firms generate $20 billion in revenues.

The U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce (USWCC) is the leading advocate for women on economic and leadership issues. As the economic leader for women, the USWCC creates opportunities, drives progress, advocates, and provides tools and solutions to support the economic growth of women across America. The USWCC (uswcc.org) is a not-for-profit 501(c)6 organization founded in 2001 with over 500,000 members; its headquarters offices are located in Washington, D.C. Contact the USWCC at 888-418-7922.


Categories: Entrepreneurship, Business

Tags: census, entrepreneurs, women-owned business

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The U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce unifies the collective strength of women in the economy. Using a platform of influence, innovation, and opportunity, the Women's Chamber with and for its members to grow successful businesses and careers.

Margot Dorfman
CEO, U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce
U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce
700 12th Street, NW (Suite 700)
Washington, DC 20005
United States