In-depth Analysis From Womenable
Sharing knowledge on trends in women's entrepreneurship globally
Womenable works with a number of organizations interested in supporting women's enterprise development to conduct primary research and secondary analysis on the characteristics, contributions and challenges facing women business owners worldwide.
Here, in descending chronological order, are reports and research briefs authored by Womenable:
- Since 2011, Womenable and American Express OPEN have reported on the state of women-owned businesses in the United States. Here are links to each of the three reports:
The 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report: A Summary of Important Trends, 1997-2013
The State of Women-Owned Businesses Report: A Summary of Important Trends, 1997-2012
The American Express OPEN State of Women-Owned Businesses Report: A Summary of Important Trends, 1997-2011
Click on each of the links above to download and read each report, or CLICK HERE for a brief summary of key findings. (April 2013)
- Womenable kicked off 2013 with some great news: women-owned firms at the highest level of revenue achievement have been doing even better than we might have imagined. They've been growing in number right under our very noses. In fact, the number of women-owned firms with $10 million or more in revenue has increased by 57% over the past decade - a rate fully 47% faster than the growth of all $10M+ businesses, and nearly twice (+98%) the rate of growth of all women-owned firms.
These startling new facts are from Growing Under the Radar: An Exploration of the Achievements of Million-Dollar Women-Owned Firms, a new report authored by Womenable and commissioned by American Express OPEN.
How could this have been happening, largely undetected, under our very noses? Well, the "million dollar bucket" is a diverse one - containing both relatively small $1 million privately-held firms and multi-billion dollar publicly traded corporations. And, since this population contains just 2% of women-owned firms and 5% of all firms, it's the largest sales category published by the Census Bureau. Now, for the first time, Womenable was able to obtain previously unpublished data from our friends at the Economic Statistics Branch of the Census Bureau (mwah!) - and the information is gratifying. Read more HERE. (January 2013)
- For the second year, Womenable has worked with American Express OPEN's Victory in Procurement program to conduct a survey among women and men business owners who are active federal contractors - to better understand their characteristics, challenges, and strategies for success. Four reports have been published from the survey, which are available here:
- A Womenable-authored analysis of Census data on women-owned enterprises in the United States finds that the growth in the number of women-owned firms continues at rates exceeding the national average, that women continue to diversify into all industries, and that growth pains occur at the 5-9 employee and $250K-$499K revenue ranges.
Women-owned firms are now estimated to number just over 8.1 million, generating nearly $1.3 trillion in revenues and employing 7.7 million workers. The report, The State of Women-Owned Businesses Report: A Summary of Important Trends, 1997-2012, was commissioned by American Express OPEN.
Read more about the research findings and download the 73-page report free at OPENforum.com/womensbusinessreport. For additional Womenable commentary, click here to read our blogpost about the report. (March 2012)
- In her capacity as the board chair of the Association of Women's Business Centers, Womenable President & CEO Julie Weeks spearheaded the conduct of an electronic survey among all women's business centers in the US in response to a proposal by the US House of Representatives to eliminate funding for the Women's Business Center program. This executive report was published from that work, and circulated widely in Congress. Funding was restored that year, but the fight continues. (July 2011)
- Womenable President and CEO has authored a paper analyzing assessments of business-enabling environments, and what is missed when they ignore gender-related constraints (and they do). The paper, entitled, "Assessing Business Enabling Environments: How Gender Changes the Equation," has been presented at the International Council for Small Business annual conference, and at the 2011 annual meeting of The Donor Committee for Enterprise Development. (June 2011)
- A Womenable-authored analysis of recently-released Census data on women-owned enterprises in the United States finds that the growth in the number of women-owned firms continues at rates exceeding the national average, and that growth in revenue and employment keeps up the pace with all firms, but only until women-owned firms reach the 100-employee level or the $1 million revenue marks.
Women-owned firms are now estimated to number just over 8.1 million, generating nearly $1.3 trillion in revenues and employing 7.7 million workers. The report, The American Express OPEN State of Women-Owned Businesses Report: A Summary of Important Trends, 1997-2011, also provides estimates of the number and economic contributions of women-owned firms by industry, by state, and by revenue and employment class of firm.
Download the 53-page report free at OPENforum.com/women, and read the study news release here. For additional Womenable commentary, click here to read our news announcement. (March 2011)
- Over the past year, Womenable has worked with American Express OPEN on gathering and sharing knowledge for their Victory in Procurement for Small BusinessSM initiative. Part of our work with them included conducting a survey among women and men small business owners who are performing - or are seeking to obtain - contracts with the US government agencies. Three reports have been published from that work, and are available by clicking on the links below:
- Womenable President & CEO Julie Weeks presented a paper at the 2010 Diana research conference in Banff, Alberta, Canada. Entitled, "Assessing Business Enabling Environments: How Gender Changes the Equation," the paper draws upon work that Weeks has done over the past year engendering a USAID-funded business assessment tool, BizCLIR. The new GenderCLIR assessment is compared to other gender-aware assessments and most particularly to what important factors are missed when gender-blind BEE assessments take place. (September 2010)
- Womenable participated in a gender diagnostic effort in Rwanda for Booz Allen Hamilton and the US Agency for International Development's Women in Development office, which resulted in the publication of "Rwanda: Investing in the Empowerment of Women in Business." (December 2009)
- Womenable President and CEO Julie Weeks reprised the presentation of her paper "A Connotation for Control: Women Business Owners Seeking Balance AND Growth," at the 52nd annual International Council for Small Business (ICSB) conference in Seoul, South Korea. The paper takes a look at the desires of growth-oriented women business owners and finds that seeking growth and greater work-life balance are NOT mutually exclusive desires, at least among this select group of women. Click the link above to download and read the report, and click on this link to listen and view an audio slide show of the paper presentation. (June 2009)
- Over the course of the past 18 months, Womenable has worked with Count Me In on their "Make Mine a Million $ Business" initiative, studying the plans, goals, and outlook of the growing number of women who are joining their online community. In a newly-released report from last year's survey among "M3" members, we discover that there are some significant differences in pre-business experiences, goals and motivations by entrepreneurial generation. Click on the following link to download and read the report entitled, "Entrepreneurship Across the Generations: Comparing Baby Boomers and Generation X" (January 2009)
- Womenable President and CEO Julie Weeks presented a paper at the 31st annual Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship conference held in Belfast, Northern Ireland in November 2008. The paper, entitled "A Connotation for Control: Women Business Owners Seeking Balance AND Growth", takes a look at the desires of growth-oriented women business owners and finds that seeking growth and greater work-life balance are NOT mutually exclusive desires, at least among this select group of women. Click the link above to download and read the report. (November 2008)
- With the support of American Express OPEN, Womenable is working with Count Me In on their "Make Mine a Million $ Business" initiative, studying the plans, goals, and outlook of the growing number of women who are joining their online community. In a newly-released report from last year's survey among "M3" members, we discover that the goals and motivations of women seeking to grow to the million-dollar level differ by ethnicity. Click here to download and read the report, "The Million Dollar Mantle: A Coat of Many Colors." (July 2008)
- Womenable worked with the International Finance Corporation's Gender Entrepreneurship Markets team on a landmark 5-country study of women business owners in the Middle East and North Africa. The report was published at a launch event in Amman, Jordan in 2007 under the auspices of Her Majesty Queen Rania. The report is available in both English and Arabic. In addition, individual country reports are now available for Tunisia (in French) and the United Arab Emirates (in English). (June 2008)
- Womenable, in collaboration with The Center for Women's Entrepreneurship at Chatham University and with the support of the National Association of Women Business Owners, has published the results of a pilot study exploring the desire, difficulties and dimensions of second-stage women business owners, the so-called "missing middle". Click on these links to read and download the full study report, Mapping the Missing Middle: Determining the Desire and Dimensions of Second-Stage Women Business Owners, and the study news release. (May 2007)
- Last year, Womenable worked with the Association of Women's Business Centers to conduct a survey among center leaders focused on their visions of the unique characteristics and strengths of WBCs, and their challenges with funding in today's political environment. Now that this report has been shared within the association, the AWBC has given us permission to share it more broadly. You may download and read the report, "The Values, Views, and Visions of Women's Business Center Leaders in the United States", here. (March 2007)
- Womenable's work with the International Finance Corporation's Gender Entrepreneurship Markets initiative, and the Mekong Private Sector Development Facility, has resulted in the publication of a report documenting the characteristics, challenges and needs of women business owners in Vietnam. The report, "Women Business Owners in Vietnam: A National Survey", is now available in both English and Vietnamese. (March 2006)
- A summary of three important research studies focused on women's business centers has en published by Womenable. "The Performance, Progress and Promise of Women's Business Centers in the United States" is the first in an occasional series of research analysis reports that will be published by Womenable, in our aim to provide concise, cogent, and actionable summaries of information of interest to the stewards of women's entrepreneurship worldwide. (January 2006)
June 25, 2013