U.S. Women Start Businesses at Record Rate

Almost twice as many U.S. women entrepreneurs are starting their own businesses as are men, according to a survey of members of the Committee of 200, a national organization of women entrepreneurs. The survey was conducted by the National Foundation for Women Business Owners (NFWBO) and the results were reported at a conference of businesswomen at Simmons College. Survey results indicated that 28 percent of those interviewed started their company because of disappointment with “traditional corporate culture.”

“I don’t see this as women rejecting corporations; they’re rejecting cultures that are not supportive,” said NFWBO executive director Sharon Hadary.

The survey also reported that women practice different management styles than men and place greater focus on the health and well-being of their workers. Seventy-six percent of those interviewed said that their management practices were more “worker-friendly” than those of past employers. Hadary said, “Our styles aren’t necessarily better, but different. … Women are creating a different kind of corporate culture, one that tends to be more family-friendly.”

Women own approximately 37 percent of all U.S. businesses and employ around 18.5 million workers. The number of businesses owned by women has increased by 78 percent since 1988, according to NFWBO.


Reuters - April 18, 1998

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