Women in business are a driving force in the nation’s flourishing economy. As the 17 statistics we highlight in this article will demonstrate, the US economy is increasingly reliant on the work and devotion of female entrepreneurs. Women are starting and running businesses at a stunning rate—and they’re doing so with demonstrable skill and expertise.
See these women in business statistics to get the details on the many successes that female entrepreneurs in the US are achieving:
Women in business statistics abound—and most of them tell a story of a growing, thriving workforce of women business owners. Let’s see what the numbers tell us about what women entrepreneurs are achieving
According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, there are a total of 12.3 million women-owned businesses in the US. This number becomes even more astounding when you consider that there were only 402,000 women-owned businesses in 1972. 
You read right—businesses run by women produce $1.8 trillion a year according to the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. Unfortunately, though, that $1.8 trillion comprises just 4.3% of total private sector annual revenue. 
Another women in business statistic from WBENC points out that 4 of every 10 US businesses are women-owned.  Of course, this ratio still isn’t proportional to the gender breakdown of the US population as a whole, but it’s come a long way over the past decade—we’ll cover this improvement in more detail shortly.
Last year, women started a net total of 1,821 new businesses every day.  Considering the growth of women-owned businesses on a day-by-day basis through this statistic helps make it more conceivable: Women are starting businesses in droves.
If we look closer at the numbers, we’ll see that 64% of the businesses started last year by women were started by women of color.  So, the growth that women-run businesses was driven by a majority of women of color starting small businesses.
If we—again—zoom into the numbers, we can see that the number of Latina women business owners grew majorly over just five years.  This growth is a heartening detail that helps us understand the breakdown of just which community subsects of women entrepreneurs have seen the most growth.
When measured against the number of women entrepreneurs running businesses 20 years ago, the number of women entrepreneurs running businesses today shows over 114% growth.  Though we’re not seeing a proportionate amount of women running businesses (just 4 in 10 US businesses are women-owned, as a reminder), we’re certainly moving in the correct direction.
For the most part, these women-owned businesses aren’t just casual side hustles. Small Business Trends shared a women in business statistic that showed that 62% of women entrepreneurs cite their business as their primary source of income. 
But how do women-owned businesses perform on a more granular level? Well, according to Forbes, when private tech companies are run by women, they render a 35% higher return on investment than those run by men. 
Another women in business statistic from Forbes shares that women-founded companies in the venture capital firm First Round Capital’s portfolio outperformed those founded by men by 63%.  This indicates a woman-run business—especially one that is venture-backed—is more likely to perform than male-run counterparts.
Finally, women business owners are less likely to seek business loans than male business owners. While just a quarter of women business owners seek business financing, a third of male business owners seek business financing.  Though this women in business statistic might paint a picture of tighter budgeting, it could also explain why women-owned businesses contributed to just 4.3% of total private sector annual revenue. If more women business owners seek and gain access to business financing for growth opportunities, perhaps their contribution to US revenue will become more proportional.
During the decade between 1997 and 2007, women-owned businesses added half a million jobs to the U.S. economy.  With the right resources, women-owned businesses can add even more jobs to increase prosperity and help promote a thriving American economy.
Women-owned startup’s reception of just 7% of venture funds is a bleak number considering the growth of entrepreneurship in the U.S. and the vital role of venture capital in this growth.  Ideally venture funds for women-owned or women-led startups will rise alongside debt-funded rates for similar businesses.
One positive area when it comes to women-owned business funding is crowdsourcing. Women have a higher success rate in crowdfunding than men of about 8%.  Crowdfunding is an excellent channel for women entrepreneurs currently and certainly one that they should consider when pursuing funding.
Despite women’s difficulty attaining conventional loans, 57.4% of the SBA Microloan program’s loans went to women-owned or women-led businesses.  This program is a prosperous channel for females in need of capital.
According to Fundera data, women ask for an average of $77,000 and men ask for an average of $109,600.  This means that there is a difference of $33,000 between the two groups. Ideally, this information will help inform women of their ability to ask for more in funding.
As can be extrapolated from the above statistic, requests for lower amounts in funding lead to lower amounts funded for women. There is an average difference of about $5,000 for loans for women-owned businesses versus men-owned businesses.  By increasing loan amount requests for women, loan amounts funded will also rise.
Now that you’ve combed through 17 of the most surprising women in business statistics to date, what’s next? Well, the answer to this question will depend on who you are. If you’re a woman business owner, though, your next steps will be considering how you can continue to grow your business. As women-owned businesses continue to crop up and flourish, so too will the nation as a whole.
Read more helpful business-related statistics:
Maddie Shepherd is a former Fundera senior staff writer and current contributing writer for Fundera.
Maddie has an extensive knowledge of business credit cards, accounting tools, and merchant services, but specializes in small business financing advice. She has reviewed and analyzed dozens of financial tools and providers, helping business owners make better financial decisions.