Washington, D.C. – Today, in recognition of the significant role that women-owned businesses play in our economy, the Office of Advocacy launched a nationwide series of roundtables on women’s entrepreneurship. These roundtables convened by Advocacy’s Regional Advocates and taking place between June 27 and June 30th will bring together federal officials, private sector representatives and women entrepreneurs to discuss the issues and challenges that women entrepreneur’s face. Roundtables are being held in Portland, ME, New York City, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Madison WI, New Orleans, Des Moines, Denver, Los Angeles, and Spokane, WA.
“For continued economic growth women entrepreneurs must play a prominent role,” said Chief Counsel for Advocacy Winslow Sargeant. “These roundtables will bring together women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs to provide a forum to discuss issues impacting them.”
A summary of an upcoming Advocacy study, Gender Issues: Privately Owned and Publicly Held U.S. Firms, released in conjunction with these regional roundtables, shows that nationally, the number of women-owned businesses increased by almost 44 percent, from 5.4 million in 1997 to 7.8 million in 2007. In addition, the number of women-owned businesses grew at twice the rate of male-owned businesses from 1997 to 2007: 44 and 22 percent, respectively. The study is based primarily on U.S. firm information from the 1997, 2002, and 2007 Survey of Business Owners (SBO), the latest and most comprehensive business datasets released by the U.S. Bureau of the Census.
According to the data, the number of women-owned businesses increased in every state, and their rate of ownership generally increased or remained the same over the decade. The rate, however, rose and then fell slightly in some states from a high in 2002. It also found that business ownership expanded in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in 1997-2007.
The Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent voice for small business within the federal government. The presidentially appointed Chief Counsel for Advocacy advances the views, concerns, and interests of small business before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, federal courts, and state policymakers. Regional advocates and an office in Washington, D.C., support the Chief Counsel’s efforts. For more information, visit http://www.sba.gov/advocacy, or call (202) 205-6533.