In the last 15 years, the overall number of small businesses started in the U.S. has increased by 41% while the number of women-owned businesses increased by 59%─that’s 1 ½ times the national average! That’s the good news.

The Challenge: While there are 8.6 million women-owned firms in this country that generate over $1.3 trillion in revenues, only
3% of these businesses ever reach $1 million in revenues. Why do the majority of women owned businesses remain small sole proprietorships?

WVF, like many industry analysts, believe that women entrepreneurs fail to significantly grow due to three critical reasons:

  • Typically, women launch with less capital than men and fail to seek credit as often as men believing (correctly) that they will be rejected by conventional lenders.
  • Traditional lenders like banks undervalue women’s work experience and often cite lack of adequate credit history as the basis for rejecting women for credit, especially since most women seek loans that are less than $100,000.
  • Women—regardless of their income or educational background—tend to be less comfortable or experienced with financial data than men and are unfamiliar with scalable business models.