(Washington, DC) – Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the lead Democrat on the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship, today released a new report on the state of women’s entrepreneurship in the United States.
“Tackling the Gender Gap: What Women Entrepreneurs Need to Thrive” examines the intersecting financial, cultural and structural obstacles facing women entrepreneurs in 2017 and includes original interviews with a diverse group of 14 women CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs.
Women are the future of entrepreneurship, creating new businesses at a rate five times faster than the national average. Thirty years ago, there were approximately 4 million women-owned businesses in the United States. Today, there are more than 11 million women-owned businesses – representing 39 percent of all firms. However, women-owned businesses grow at a slower rate and earn less revenue than male-owned firms.
Shaheen said: “Women are at the center of the American economy. They are creating new businesses, disrupting established industries and developing innovative products at a record pace. Despite the progress, women entrepreneurs face persistent institutional barriers that make achieving financial parity with male entrepreneurs a serious challenge with lasting consequences.”
Among the factors that hold women entrepreneurs back, the report found:
- Few role models and a lack of mentors for women entrepreneurs contributes to the perception that entrepreneurship is a male-only endeavor;
- A gender pay gap that is a lifelong hurdle for women entrepreneurs with far-reaching career and earning implications;
- Unequal access to startup funding and financing streams that leave women with fewer credit options and a small portion of venture capital.
“Understanding and addressing the challenges facing women entrepreneurs can produce economic growth for the country and unleash the potential of women-led businesses,” Shaheen added. “I hope this report advances the national conversation around gender and helps more women entrepreneurs succeed.”
“Tackling the Gender Gap: What Women Entrepreneurs Need to Thrive” features new interviews with female entrepreneurs who share their business journey and how they overcame adversity on the way to building successful companies, including:
- Joan Fallon, Curemark
- Elizabeth Gore, Dell Technologies
- Felena Hanson, Hera Hub
- Sarah Kauss, S’well
- Ashley Kosharek, AMK Cleaning Services
- Katherine Krug, BetterBack
- Lisa Price, Carol’s Daughter
- Carolyn Rodz, Alice
- Reshma Saujani, Girls Who Code
- Krystal Shaw, Random Rompers
- Cheryl Snead, Banneker Industries
- Sue Sylvester, Absolute Resource Associates
- Susan Tynan, Framebridge
- Ann-Erica Whitemarsh, Rascal Rodeo
The report highlights a variety of initiatives to nurture entrepreneurship among women, as well as public and private sector recommendations to reduce gender bias and support the growth of women-led businesses.
The Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship report, “Tackling the Gender Gap: What Women Entrepreneurs Need to Thrive” is available HERE.