A new issue brief from the SBA Office of Advocacy shows the major economic contribution of women-owned businesses, in spite of their average smaller size when compared to male-owned firms.

The report, Women's Business Ownership: Data from the 2012 Survey of Business Owners, uses the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data to create a highly detailed portrait of this group, including their role in minority business communities.

The report's findings include the following:

  • The 9.9 million businesses that are majority-owned by women contribute $1.4 trillion in sales to the economy.
  • Thirty-six percent of all businesses are women-owned, accounting for 12% of all business sales and 15% of employment.
  • Industries with the most women-owned employer firms range from restaurants to physicians and management consulting.
  • Women own a larger share of businesses in every minority group compared to their overall share of businesses (36%). Almost 60% of Black/African American-owned businesses and 44% of Hispanic-owned businesses are women-owned.

The Office of Advocacy's new research takes a closer look at important factors regarding the longstanding differences between male- and women-owned firms' sales and employment.

Among other items, the report evaluates the industry distribution and business characteristics, like age and financing, of women-owned businesses.

Featuring interactive charts, users can now easily understand the gender composition and performance of women-owned businesses in hundreds of industries.