Why Women Start Businesses and Growing Trends

It’s National Women’s Small Business Month, so we wanted to dive into how things are going for women in business today. Did you know that 42% of all U.S. businesses are women-owned? [1] According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), there are over 13 million women-owned businesses in the United States alone. [2] With 1,817 net new women-owned businesses being created each day in the U.S., it’s hard to ignore the fact that women-owned businesses are on the rise. [1] 

Additionally, U.S. women-led businesses employ 9.4 million workers and generate $1.9 trillion in revenues annually. [1] A 2022 report from Bank of America further supports this trend, showing that 63% of women-owned businesses expect their revenues to increase, and 47% plan to expand their businesses. [3]  While women business owners are still technically in the minority, that’s likely to change in the near future. 

So, who are women business owners, why do they become business owners, and what trends are we seeing? Let’s explore!

Why Women Become Business Owners

Of course, there’s no one answer for why more and more women are choosing to become business owners, but there are a few common ones. Many women business owners launch for the following reasons:

Seeking Flexibility/Freedom

Many people start their own businesses to break free from corporate America. A recent study, Guidant’s 2023 Small Business Trends study, showed that 27% of women became business owners for the freedom that comes with being their own boss, and 23% were dissatisfied with the corporate world. [4]

Pursuing a Passion

The above study also shows that 15% of women business owners started their business to pursue their passions and that women entrepreneurs are 20% more likely to start a business to follow their passions than men. [4]

Opportunity Knocked

10% of the women in this same study indicated that the opportunity presented itself, and they decided to take it. [4]

Alternative to Retiring/Laid Off

9% of the women in this same study were looking for an alternative to retiring, and another 9% were laid off. [4]

Women Business Owners: Who They Are and Growing Trends

Women business owners come from many different backgrounds, across diverse cultural and generational demographics. Here are a few (of the many) characteristics of today’s women business owners, along with some growing trends in recent years:

Gen Xers

Over 55% of women business owners are Gen Xers, while almost 30% are Boomers, and less than 15 % are millennials. [6]

Retail Business Owners

Today’s women business owners are primarily (26%) in the retail/eCommerce industry, with health, beauty, and fitness coming in next at 17%, followed by food/restaurant at 14%. [6]

Majority-owned by Women of Color is Growing

As of 2019, there were 5.4 million businesses owned by women of color in the United States. [7] While they are far from the majority, there has been a significant increase in business owners who are “Black or African American” – an increase of 33% from 2022-2023 alone. Additionally, “Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish” as well as “Asian or Asian-American” women entrepreneurs have doubled over the past year. [6] 

Freelancers/Single Owner Companies

A 2022 report indicated that, compared to men, women are much more likely to start a business without any employees. [7]  39% of the world’s freelance workforce is made up of – you guessed it – women. [5] This makes sense, given the relatively high percentage of women who want to be their own bosses or are fed up with the traditional 9-5. 

A 2022 study showed that approximately 42% of people in coworking spaces were freelancers, [8] which leads us to our final trend…

More Women Choosing Coworking

In 2019, one survey indicated that for the first time, the number of female members in coworking spaces worldwide was more than 50%. [9] Coworking spaces are popular among freelancers and solopreneurs who want more control over the work they do and how they do it, while still maintaining access to a community of like-minded peers. Given the reasons cited above for why many women start their own businesses, it would make sense that many choose to join a coworking community.

Spark Offices Supports Women-Owned Businesses

At Spark Offices, we’re lucky to have several amazing female-owned businesses as members of our community across several different industries. Our women-owned business members include:

Spark Offices provides coworking solutions for women and men business owners, with membership options for everyone from the solopreneur to a larger enterprise, and everyone in between. Some benefits of membership include stress-free parking, free premium coffee, new workstations, and access to a supportive community of professionals. Looking for a collaborative office solution that provides a professional space to launch, support, and grow your business? Take a tour of our coworking space today.