Ladies who Lead - 35+ Amazing Women in Business Statistics

March 17,2022

Women are making inroads in business, both in America and around the world. Slowly but surely, more women are starting businesses, leading them, and funding them. Women in business statistics show a lot of progress. Women in business have had a major impact on the world economy.

That is not to say the gender divide is a thing of the past. Women face substantial challenges in starting and leading businesses. Despite the progress women have made in the past 75 years, severe disparities and inequalities exist in nearly all markets.

Top Successful Women in Business Statistics, Editor’s Choice

  • Four out of every 10 businesses in the United States are owned by women.
  • In the Middle East, fewer than 10% of companies are owned by women.
  • Ghana has the highest percentage of women-owned businesses:  46.4%.
  • The number of women-owned businesses in the United States increased 31 years out of 46 between 1972 and 2018, growing from 402,000 to 12.3 million.
  • Women who own small businesses are 43% more likely than men to be concerned about a limited access to money affecting their companies.
  • Woman-led businesses receive less venture capital. One reason may be that only 9% of VCs are women.
  • In 2017, women of color accounted for 71% of new female-owned business launches.
  • The most male-dominated industries are construction (90% men to 10% women) and high-tech manufacturing (87% to 13%).

Women Business Owners Throughout the World

Women now make up 36% of small-business owners, up from just 4.6% in 1972.

The number of women in the US who own companies has grown steadily for nearly half a century.

In 2019, JPMorgan Chase and Co. analyzed data from 1.3 million American companies to compile Gender, Age, and Small Business Financial Outcomes, a report that provides unique insights into American small-business survival, cash liquidity, and revenues.

Ghana is the world leader for women-owned businesses - by a mile. 46.4% of privately held businesses in Ghana are owned by women.

That’s right, women own almost half of the businesses in Ghana, ranking higher than Russia (34.6%) and Uganda (33.8%).

You might expect forward-thinking liberal democracies to have a higher percentage of women-owned businesses, but the United States, for example, ranks 23rd with 25.5% of its businesses owned by women.

Data suggests that the Ghana-based successful businesswoman is driven to start a company by necessity, not ambition. A high percentage of women-owned businesses can be a sign of more opportunities in the developed world, but in disadvantaged economies it could simply reflect a will to survive that prevails against the same barriers to entrepreneurship that women face elsewhere.

Uganda and Vietnam have high percentages of women-owned businesses too: 33.8% and 31.3%.

Ghana is not an isolated case. High rates of female entrepreneurship prevail in some of the world’s least wealthy underdeveloped economies. Clearly, women’s entrepreneurial progress is not always aligned to the country’s economic wealth.

Developing nations are characterized by weaker infrastructure support for small business, lower education rates, and less skilled labor. But women are undeterred as they are inspired to start businesses to support themselves and their families.

Female business ownership rates are under 10% in much of the Middle East.

Business owners among women make up less than 10% of the entrepreneurial world in the Middle East. That’s the widest gender gap in the world.

Middle Eastern women who own businesses are among the most ambitious and they are more likely to do business internationally.

About 29% of women-owned businesses in the Middle East and North Africa are considered international, surpassing the rate for male-owned companies. More than 75% of women-owned businesses in the United Arab Emirates are considered global. In Saudi Arabia, the rate is 50%.

With average growth expectations of 37%, women-owned businesses from the Middle East and North Africa appear to have the brightest future.

Female entrepreneurs from this part of the world are more optimistic about expanding their operations than women from other parts of the world. According to the Mastercard Index, more than 50% of women who run their own companies in the United Arab Emirates and Tunisia say they are likely to bring on six or more new employees to the team in the next five years. In Saudi Arabia, growing one’s business has become an ambition more common for women than men.

In 2017, women of color accounted for 71% of the new female-owned businesses launched in the United States.

From 1997 to 2017, the number of firms owned by women grew by 467%.

Over the past 20 years, businesses owned by African-American women have increased by 259 per day. Latina-owned firms increased by 227 per day. Asian-American women-led businesses rose by 104 daily, Native American/Alaska Native companies increased by 15, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander by four.

Between 1997 and 2017, the number of U.S. businesses owned by women increased by 114%, a rate 2.5 times higher than the national average when male-owned business are taken into account.

That said, the annual growth rate of successful women in business over the last 20 years reveals signs of a slowdown. The growth rate was 3.9% between 1997 and 2017 (which includes the recession and recovery), as opposed to 2.7% between 2016 and 2017.

The number of women-owned businesses in the United States increased 31 years out of 46 between 1972 and 2018, growing from 402,000 to 12.3 million.

That’s a rise from 4.6% of all firms to 40%. This data demonstrates the growing impact women have on the economy and their communities, creating jobs and generating revenue.

The total of women-owned firms and companies equally owned by men and women accounts for 48% of all businesses.

These companies employ 16,155,900 workers, 14% of the workforce.

Women entrepreneurs statistics reveal that women-owned businesses grew from 29% of all companies in 2007 to 40% in just 11 years.

The number of women-owned businesses grew by 4.2% each year from 2007 to 2018.

New businesses have grown by about 1.0% annually between 2007 and 2018. There was an uptick in the annual growth rate in 2018: 6% for women-owned firms and 1.6% for all firms.

Four out of every 10 businesses (40%) in the United States are now owned by women.

These businesses have a tremendous impact on their communities and employ 8% of the total private-sector workforce.

In the U.S., companies owned by women of color grew nearly three times faster - 163% - than the average rate between 1972 and 2018.

The reason behind this surge, according to researchers, has more to do with the prolonged recession-recovery period than female empowerment or general mindset shifts regarding women in the workforce. Women of color have been forced to turn to entrepreneurship as a source of income. Starting in 2018, women of color account for 47% of women-owned businesses. They generate more than $386 billion in revenues each year and employ 2,230,600 people.

In the U.S., the numbers for Latinas and African Americans grew 172% and 164%.

The percentage of women in the US currently amounts to 50.6. Among them, minority women are growing their businesses at breakneck speed. Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (146%), Asian American (105%), and Native American/Alaskan (76%) businesses grew more slowly than other businesses owned by women of color, but still faster than the average pace for women-owned businesses.

Still, women of color face a real and widening revenue gap. The average revenue for businesses owned by women of color is dropping: in 2007, the average revenue for a women-of-color owned business was $84,100; by 2018 it was $66,400. On the other hand, the success women in business achieve in more privileged demographic populations is on the rise. The monthly average revenue for a non-minority-owned business was $181,000; by 2018 it had risen to $212,300.

Over the past 11 years, the number of women-owned businesses increased by 4.5 million.

As many as 64% of new female-owned businesses are owned by women of color. In that period, there have been 541 new businesses opened every day by African-American women, 401 per day by Latina women, and 191 per day by Asian-American women.

There are 12.3 million women-owned businesses in the US.

How many businesses are owned by women? The 12.3 million businesses they currently own are the best proof of women harnessing their entrepreneurial spirit. Still, businesses owned by women are not evenly spread across the country, and some cities and states are ahead of others by a long shot. Also, men still have the upper hand at founding startups. The gender disparity is undeniable.

In year 2017 and 2018, women founded as many as 1,821 new businesses every day.

Statistics on small businesses underscore how women-owned businesses have multiplied over the last several years. A combination of necessity and opportunity entrepreneurship is behind the ambition to become a business owner.

Women’s business portfolio includes both opportunity entrepreneurs and necessity entrepreneurs.

88% of women-owned businesses generate less than $100,000 in annual revenue.

According to small business revenue statistics, the number of $1 million revenue companies led by women soared by 46% over the past 10 years. Still, these women in business statistics refer to companies that are a mere 1.7% of all women-led companies. As the economy improves, more and more opportunity entrepreneurs enter the market, both male and female, creating a favourable environment for high-profit businesses.

Less than halfway into 2019, 10 companies founded by women had become unicorns.

In all of 2018 there were 12 unicorns born with at least one female founder. A unicorn company is a startup that is worth more than $1 billion. The first female-founded company to gain unicorn status in 2019 was FabFitFun. The company sells lifestyle subscription boxes to women.

Nearly half of female business owners are between 45 and 65 years old.

Conventional wisdom suggests that starting a business is a young man’s game. The truth is that it takes most entrepreneurs years and years of professional experience to acquire the knowledge they need to start a business.

A generational breakdown from a recent American Express report reveals that it takes decades to amass the connections, expertise, and financial capital required to start a business. Women aged 25-44 are only 31% of female business owners.

Male vs Female Entrepreneurs Statistics

For every dollar invested, businesses founded by women generate revenue almost two times higher than those founded by men.

In a study of more than 350 startups, Boston Consulting Group found that women-owned businesses are often a safer bet for investors and financial backers. The study reveals the literal price of prejudice.

62% of women entrepreneurs rely upon their businesses as a primary source of income.

This statistic counters the common perception that female entrepreneurs just dabble at lifestyle businesses as hobbies.

Male business owners are more likely to seek financing than female ones - 34% to 25%.

Women are relatively new to the business world and they continue to face unique challenges and barriers.

Female-led businesses grew by 58% from 2007 to 2018.

The economy has been improving at breakneck speed. Women entrepreneurs statistics indicate that businesses owned by women generate $3.1 trillion in annual revenue and that this success goes hand-in-hand with a political upheaval: the gradual bridging of the wage gap and a record number of women elected to state and national office in 2018.

Among startups, the most male-dominated industries are construction (90% men, 10% women) and high-tech manufacturing (87% to 13%).

Metal and machinery come third as the least popular industry for women, with 87% started by men.

On average, the small number of women-led startups in these industries achieved higher first-year revenues.

Women are 21% less likely than men to feel very optimistic about the performance of their business.

The US Small Business Administration reports that men and women are equally likely to feel optimistic about the way their businesses are performing, but omen are 21% less likely to feel “very” optimistic.

Male vs Female Employment Statistics

In 2019, the percentage of startups with at least one woman on the board of directors is 40%.

To uncover this fact, Silicon Valley Bank surveyed nearly 1,400 technology and healthcare founders and executives, mostly in big innovation hubs across the US, the UK, China, and Canada.

As many as 56% of startups have at least one female owner.

The number of women in the world amounts to 49.6% of the population, making for 3,825,573,117ish women. What percentage of women are employed at top positions at startup companies? That depends on many factors, but the situation has been improving with every passing year. This year’s 56% figure is a rise of 10% since last year.

2019 exceeded expectations with 53% of companies having women in executive positions.

That average includes business owners and executives from the US, the UK, China, and Canada. In 2017, only 46% of companies had women in executive positions, and in 2018 only 43%.

 2019 survey found that 40% of Canadian startups have at least one woman on the board of directors and 60% have at least one woman in an executive position.

Tech companies and small businesses are typically managed by men, at least in Canada, China, and the US. Still, there is some evidence that more and more women are joining startup boards and taking leadership roles.

One in four tech or healthcare startups has a woman on the founding team.

In other words, three out of four tech and healthcare startups are led by all-male teams. Startups with at least one woman on the founding team are more likely to have a female CEO or COO. In most cases, however, a woman is more likely to be head of HR or a similar department.

Six in 10 startups feature programs meant to increase the number of women in leadership positions.

On average, 59% of startups have implemented some form of program that is intended to increase the number of women in leadership positions. There is a small difference depending on the composition of the founding team: If the team included a woman, 65% have a program, compared with 57% if the founding team was men only.

Women Entrepreneurs, Loans, and Funding

22% of startups with at least one female founder plan to raise funds from small investors, as opposed to 14% of startups with all-male founding teams.

53% of startups with no women founders expect their next source of funding will be venture capital, compared to 46% with a woman founder.

Female owners are 43% more likely than men to be concerned about a limited access to money affecting their businesses.

Women make up a huge part of the workforce and occupy more leadership positions than ever before, but they face different dynamics and challenges.

The attitudes, hopes, and concerns women report in current surveys reflect real-life obstacles, including the additional difficulties women face when obtaining funding. SBA loans for women and specialized women small business grants help overcome these setbacks and ameliorate the circumstances women in business face every day.

One reason women-led businesses receive less venture capital may be that only 9% of VCs are women.

Even the 9% figure has increased in the past few years as more women have started launching their own venture funds.

Another reason is explained in a 2018 study published in the Academy of Management Journal. The study found that the type of questions an investor asks a business owner (regardless of their sex) when deciding whether to invest or not influences the funding outcome. When VCs ask prevention-related questions, they are less likely to invest in a business than when asking promotion-related questions. According to the study, women raising funds are faced with far more prevention-focused questions than their male counterparts.

In 2017, men were more likely to obtain loans or equity financing than women (38% versus 31%).

Obtaining big or small business loans for women is apparently a challenging feat. Despite the stability and steady growth a backer can expect from female-led businesses according to statistics, financial institutions hesitate to help out, especially in industries traditionally dominated by men.

Research suggests that not enough is being done to bridge this gap, and there’s a pretty good chance that women are treated differently based solely on their sex. Some efforts to tackle this issue include nearly 50 funds meant exclusively for women-owned businesses. The Wharton Social Impact Initiative, for example, is driving $1 billion to women-of-color tech entrepreneurs.


Whether they are starting a business, seeking funding, or trying to climb the ladder to the executive suite, women have come a long way.

Still, reputable studies confirm that there’s a long way to go. While women have a higher small business success rate, they tend to take fewer risks. The higher probability of the survival of female-led businesses makes them safer bets for investors, but the lack of female VCs means they don’t get the funding they need.

“I’ve never looked at the world like female versus male,” says Vista Endeavor Fund’s René Yang Stewart. “I treat every CEO as a person." Women in business statistics support this woman’s optimism, and perhaps it’s time the rest of the world catches up.


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(Influencer Marketing Hub) The majority of marketers will not spend more than $50,000 a year hiring influencers. In fact, 43% spend less than $10,000 annually. Of course, the bigger the influencer, the higher the price goes, so a small portion of big brands will gladly spend much more than others for hiring the mega stars of social media. In 2019, 57% of marketers said that they would increase their influencer marketing budget in the following year. (Linqia) Most experienced marketers know these ad campaigns work, so they’re willing to invest more and more in them each year. Even though influencer marketing ROI is lower now than it was a few years ago, we can expect things to pick up again. Only 5% of marketers plan on spending half or more of their budget on influencer marketing. (Linqia) Traditional marketing is still the dominant form of advertising, even in 2022. While the trend of employing influencers is on the rise, with 43% of marketers planning to spend between 11% and 25% of their budget for influencer campaigns. Still, one-third of surveyed marketers don’t want to dedicate more than 10% of their budgets on paying influencers. Repurposing influencer ads is the strategy of 89% of marketers. (Linqia) Once the content is produced and posted online, it’s out there forever. So, a logical step for marketers is to repurpose what they’ve already paid for. Companies will re-post paid content as either promoted posts across other social media channels or use it for organic growth, depending on what kind of content was produced in the first place. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, 39% of influencer marketers use conversions as a primary measure of success. (Influencer Marketing Hub) Trends are also changing in the way the success of influencer marketing campaigns is measured. Previously, marketers used site engagement metrics, but in 2019 that trend was overtaken by calculating conversions. It makes sense, too. It’s one thing for a potential customer to just click the link, learning something about the brand, but it’s a whole other situation if they actually end up making a purchase. 71% of marketers keep up with the latest FTC regulations and know how to implement them. (Linqia) FTC guidelines are there to protect consumers and sanction influencers who don’t follow the rules. That’s why it’s important that marketers familiarize themselves with all the latest changes and modifications. All these regulations are clearly defined for each social platform, so there is zero room for error or misunderstanding. On the other hand, only 14% of influencers are fully FTC compliant. (Influencer Marketing Hub) Even with many efforts by social media platforms to ensure ads are marked as ads, the majority of influencers still don’t mark their posts by the FTC standards. Analysts fear that this may lead to more drastic measures by the authorities, potentially leading to another “adpocalypse.” On the other hand, the situation is improving ever so slightly, since in 2018 this number was sitting at just 11%. The primary concern for 42% of marketers is dealing with bots that might follow the brand influencer. (Marketing Charts) There are two main problems with an influencer having too many fake followers or bots. First off, having too many of these automatic fans might result in problems with the FTC, which could lead to account suspension. In addition, from a marketer’s point of view, there’s no point in paying for a campaign that mainly reaches fake users. Social Influencer Marketing 64% of influencers say they would never accept a huge amount of money if it would cost them their followers. (Hashoff) This data shows most digital influencers nowadays value their fanbase more than money. The respect they get from their followers seems to be invaluable. 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It’s understandable why that business model is a lot more attractive to influencers than other alternatives, which could prove to be far less reliable. 66% of influencer networks focus on fashion, beauty, or lifestyle. ( This information suggests that beauty and image trump all other concerns. Naturally, influencers are ready to help us ease our insecurities. The 66% share shows what kinds of products and services people are most likely to shop for online. 12% of influencers say that most of the time they have no control over the copy used in their promotions. ( Among these influencer marketing statistics, one worrying snippet shows that 12% of influencers don’t even write their own posts. This flies in the face of the authenticity and honesty influencers are supposed to represent. For 63% of campaigns, influencers don’t even use contracts. ( Despite the fact that marketers spend billions of dollars on influencer campaigns, 63% of influencers still don’t use contracts to protect themselves or their work. This is a poor practice that is set to change as regulations get more and more rigid. Instagram Influencers Marketing Instagram has 1 billion active users. (Hootsuite) There’s no doubt that Instagram is one of today’s biggest social media platforms. In 2018, there were 1 billion registered users, a 1,000% increase since 2013. By the end of 2019, the monthly active user number has also reached 1 billion, solidifying Instagram as the platform your brand needs to utilize.  500 million Instagram users watch Stories every day. (Hootsuite) Even though they’re not originally Instagram’s invention, Stories have become hugely popular on the platform. These are photo or video posts available in a separate feed that automatically disappear 24 hours after being posted. 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It is constantly on the rise, although not at the 100% rate we’ve seen from 2016 to 2017. In 2019, there were 4.95 million sponsored posts on Instagram, and in 2020 this number is expected to rise by more than a million. A study from April 2018 found out that more than half of influencers use Instagram Stories as their preferred outreach method. (eMarketer) Instagram Stories were introduced in August 2016 and gave users a chance to create posts that only last for 24 hours. It is a great customer acquisition method because it allows influencers to reach people who don’t already follow them. 25% of all sponsored posts on Instagram are fashion-related, while food takes second place. (Business Insider) We’ve already mentioned how the influencer marketing industry revolves around beauty tips and lifestyle instructions, so it makes sense that fashion represents a quarter of all Instagram sponsored posts.  Micro-influencers with fewer than 100,000 followers are responsible for the majority of posts on Instagram. (Socialbakers) Nearly a third of all profiles on Instagram belong to so-called micro-influencers, who can have anywhere from 2,000 to 100,000 followers. The interesting thing about influencer culture is the fact that there’s room for everyone. In fact, top Instagram influencers with over a million followers only make up 1% of all accounts on the platform. 97% of marketers plan on using Instagram for their influencer campaigns in 2020. (Linqia) Instagram has finally overtaken Facebook as the most popular influencer platform. Not only are Instagram posts sitting at the top spot, but Stories are also making their way up - 83% of marketers are planning to pour their budgets into promoting their products with Stories produced by influencers. The reason? Vertical video. For 55% of marketers, vertical video will play a key role in 2020 campaigns. YouTube Influencer Stats 10 brands spent $1 million each on sponsoring YouTube videos. (Influencer Marketing Hub) “This video is sponsored by…” You know the drill. Sponsored video segments, basically ads that are embedded into the video, are turning to be quite an investment for certain brands. These famous words were most commonly spoken for SkillShare, Squarespace, Nord VPN, Blue Chew, and DLive. Brands spent more than $90 million on YouTube influencers during Q1 2020. (Influencer Marketing Hub) During the first quarter of 2020, more than 1,300 brands were spending money on sponsored content on YouTube. In total, there were 5,680 videos produced, amassing 704 million views. On average, advertisers spent $16,011 on each sponsored YouTube video. (Influencer Marketing Hub) While sponsorships with top YouTube influencers don’t come cheap, the growth of micro and macro influencers lead to a wide variety of pricing tiers. Looking at the numbers during Q1 2020, we can see what amount of money on average is needed for each influencer campaign on the platform. In the future, analysts predict that YouTubers at or below 100,000 subscribers could be the biggest driving force for marketing campaigns. Epic Games was the biggest spender in the first half of 2020 with a campaign worth $10.6 million. (Influencer Marketing Hub) The gaming powerhouse Epic Games, the owners of Fortnite and Epic Games Store, had a way bigger marketing budget for YouTube than anyone else. Sitting in second place is Bang Energy with $7.7 million, while SkillShare comes in third with $3 million in sponsored content expenses. Gaming is huge on YouTube and, with the world’s most popular game under its belt, Epic knew the value of promoting on this platform. Four in 10 millennial consumers feel that their favorite YouTube influencer understands them better than friends or family. (ThinkWithGoogle) While these statistics might appear worrying, they certainly fit with the whole concept of influencers. Marketing to teens nowadays boils down to promoting normal, down-to-earth, relatable figures who understand what young people are interested in. That’s why millennial influencers are so effective. Because of that, teens, millennials, and other younger demographics feel a strong connection to them. Half of YouTube’s top 10 earning stars are gamers. (Forbes) Industry statistics reveal that some of the most influential YouTubers on the platform are gamers. This reflects the continuous growth of the gaming industry, which is expanding rapidly. In an effort to compete with websites like Twitch, YouTube has also introduced streaming, which has further helped gaming channels gain prominence. 18% of users are influenced by YouTube when it comes to their purchases. (Shane Barker) YouTube is one of the biggest and most popular online platforms for product reviews. There are thousands of channels specializing in unboxing videos and hands-on reviews, all of which give potential customers a better feel for the product than written reviews. Influencers who create reviews often make deals with YouTube influencer marketing, in which they get free products, or even cash, in exchange for their reviews. YouTube has the best engagement rate, ranging from 4% to 6.7%. (CreatorIQ) YouTube is a platform designed to drive engagement. Either by involving viewers in the discussion or by them sharing and liking videos, the drive to engage with content is inherently higher than on any other platform. Data from 2016 to 2019 demonstrates that Twitter has the lowest engagement rate, with 0.17% or lower depending on the audience size. User Statistics You Should Know 49% of users rely on influencer recommendations for purchases. (ION) Online bloggers are so influential that almost half of users on the web rely on their recommendations when deciding to make a purchase. This shows that influencers are at least as important as all those hard-working marketers out there. Influencer marketing statistics show that young people (ages 18-34) are more likely to buy a product endorsed by an influencer than one endorsed by a celebrity. (Marketing Charts) About 10 years ago, the go-to stars for product promotion were actors, musicians, sportspeople, and other celebrities. Nowadays, it’s all about influencers who seem a lot more trustworthy and relatable. Indeed, 22% of young people trust influencers’ choices, compared to just 9% who trust celebrities. 94% of users think authenticity and transparency are essential. (Marketing Charts) Authenticity and transparency are two of the most important traits in celebrity influencers. If they want to keep their followers, these social gurus need to be original, cultivate their own voice, and make sure that their behavior is completely transparent. This is the best way to earn their audience’s trust and respect. 19% of consumers rely on Facebook influencers when they purchase products. (Shane Barker) Statistics show that 19% of users turn to Facebook influencers for advice regarding product purchases. Although the platform is now less popular than its sister network, Instagram, it is still the preferred platform for thousands of influencer marketing companies. What About Twitter? You’ve probably noticed that we’ve mentioned pretty much every major social media platform except for Twitter. So, who are Twitter’s biggest influencers? What are some of the most interesting Twitter followers statistics? Unfortunately, a lot of Twitter statistics revolve around the company’s own reports and estimates. Twitter seems to be desperately looking for a way into the world of real influencer marketing, even though the platform is inherently restricted by its 280-character limit for tweets.
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Kerry Mellin
1 year ago
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The reality in 2021 is that there are still many discriminatory practices in corporate America against women owned small businesses. Yes we can be and are successful, but the struggles are real. Funding, mentorship, equal opportunities are often not forthcoming. It takes a tremendous amount of commitment and determination to build a thriving women owned and operated business.