From 1997 to 2007, female-owned businesses grew by 44% to 7.8 million while male-owned businesses has grown 22%, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Male-owned firms totaled 13.9 million in 2007. Female-owned firms added 500,000 workers while male-owned firms lost 2 million workers.
"The good news is that women-owned businesses have actually been growing over the last decade and actually growing faster than men-owned private businesses," said Rebecca Blank, the Commerce's Department's undersecretary for economic affairs.
The growth of female-owned firms could be attributed to a general shift in the U.S. job market, with healthcare and education-related jobs expanding.
The report did find, however, that businesses owned by women were "likely to be smaller, more likely to fail, and different from businesses owned by men along a variety of measures." The female-owned firms lag behind male-owned firms in financial capital, revenue and salaries.
But, the future looks bright for women entrepreneurs, Blank says. "There's clearly a sense here, if you look into the future, of an enormous growth opportunity for women-owned businesses in the private sector." In the future, women-owned businesses could very well reach the success level of male-owned businesses, or even exceed them.
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