Women Business Owners to Lead the Nation in Job Creation

Women Business Owners to Lead the Nation in Job Creation Where will tomorrow’s jobs come from? Everyone from Main Street to the White House is focused on that question. Well, according to new data projections from The Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute, future job growth will be created primarily by women-owned small businesses.

Guardian’s research shows that by 2018 women entrepreneurs will be responsible for creating between 5 million and 5.5 million new jobs nationwide. That’s more than half of the 9.7 million new jobs the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects small businesses to create, and about one-third of the total new jobs the BLS projects will be created nationwide in that time frame.

The Institute based its projections on an analysis of several factors, including the faster growth rate of women-owned businesses compared to those owned by men; the greater rate of college graduation among women compared to men; the projected growth of industry sectors that are dominated by women; and the fact that women-owned businesses are more likely to be self-funded and thus less dependent on increasingly scarce bank financing or other outside sources of capital.

As they grow, these women-owned businesses will also account for some important changes in the work environment. According to The Guardian Life Index, a survey of American small-business owners, women are most likely to start businesses because they’re unhappy with corporate life. When they become their own bosses, Guardian’s research shows, they are more likely than male managers or entrepreneurs to be:

  • diligently engaged in strategic and tactical facets of their business
  • proactively customer-focused
  • likely to incorporate community and environment into their business plans
  • receptive to input and guidance from internal and external advisers
  • committed to creating opportunities for others

Underscoring these conclusions, Mark Wolf, director of The Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute says,

“As a result of the increasing influence and business leadership of women small-business owners, the workplace of tomorrow will be far less hierarchical. [The approach of women business owners] strongly counteracts the top-down, command-and-control style of management long practiced by their male counterparts.”

John Krubski, futurist and research advisor to The Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute agrees. He says,

“This women-led management approach will have a profound impact on the employees and customers connected to these businesses. Women small-business owners will ultimately create more opportunities for employees to grow in their jobs and inspire others to start their own small business – all while providing customers with superior service.”

As a long-time advocate for women-owned businesses, I have to say I am not surprised by the findings. While women business owners still face some obstacles, overall the absence of a glass ceiling makes entrepreneurship more appealing than climbing the ever-shrinking corporate ladder.

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Rieva Lesonsky Rieva Lesonsky is a Columnist for Small Business Trends covering employment, retail trends and women in business. She is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her blog, SmallBizDaily, to get the scoop on business trends and free TrendCast reports.

21 Reactions
  1. Really interesting information and all I can say is WOW. Men around the world need to watch out for the new force coming in business – WOMEN

  2. I would also add that the increasing importance of social media in business plays into this trend. Women’s tendency toward relationship-building gives them yet another advantage. And if you dismiss this report as nothing but a bunch of mommy bloggers you should take a closer look.

  3. Andee,
    “Men around the world need to watch out for the new force coming in business – WOMEN” . . . LOVE that! 🙂

    You bring up an excellent point that goes way back to the “hunter/gatherer” days. Simply put, studies have revealed that the primal design of a man’s brain is arranged to focus on the ways that objects move through space (for hunting). The primal design of a females brain is arranged to focus on language and establishing and maintaining connections and building relationships (family and “nesting” purposes).

    These skills are serving women well in this modern era 🙂

  4. Great article Rieva. Hope to see you at the IFA next month.

  5. I believe the projection of women-owned business. After all “necessity is the MOTHER of invention”. It is necessary for women to take hold of the purse strings of the mainstream economy if small business, communities, and families are to survive recessions and wars. Women are already in the majority and have the strongest purchasing power as compared to men. Two economies exist now – thanks to Wall Street – and in a democracy where people rule, mainstream is where America’s economy was first born and can now be adopted by women. Women don’t require political power that is defined by others or a corporate ladder to control outcomes. Women’s power is intuitive and they rule by sheer numbers that can’t be polled. Women are as influential in society as they are in the family; if the women isn’t happy no body can be happy. Now women are happy only if they have control of mainstream economy.

  6. Rieva: I was pleased to see that Guardian Research, which joins so many other recent reports in the “you go, girl” category. Myself, I’m not so sure that women-owned firms will grow to contribute 1/3 of employment in the US in just 8 years – double what they do now. I definitely agree that economic self-determination in the form of business ownership provides much greater opportunity, and fewer obstacles, than does climbing that corporate ladder.

  7. Well Julie, you and I have been around this long enough to know that projected statistics don’t always become reality. (Remember women will own half of all businesses by…?)
    But there does seem to be a groundswell of entrepreneurial moms. So it’s quite possible

  8. Michelle Cubas, CPCC

    Spot on, Rieva! Women are natural sales and marketing people (hence the low paying positions in marketing, teaching, nursing, et al) as well as multi-taskers, sometimes to a fault.

    Women create jobs from a different perspective than men. It’s a creative urge, a nurturing energy and optimistic outreach.
    My business coaching vantage point reveals repeatedly that women are more resilient, inclusive and will rebound from a misstep quicker than males and willing to learn from mistakes and others’ experience.

    Look at developing countries. It’s the women making the micro loans while the men are busy fighting with each other.

    Bravo that our gender has finally seen we can be our own leader and share rather than chest-beat along the way.

  9. The future job growth in the US will primarily be created by women entrepreneurs, disenchanted with corporate life. Due to their management approach,the workplace of tomorrow will be less heirarchical, create more opportunities for employees’ growth, and will inspire others to start their own business. Women entrepreneurs are likely to pursue business goals diligently, be proactively customer-focused, incorporate community and environment into business and take inputs and guidance, and be committed to creating opportunities for others.

  10. I wrote about this fact in my book HER TURN Why It’s Time For Women To Lead in America (published in September 2007) and it seems to be reported, researched and/or announced once each year as if it is brand new information. Maria Shriver was all over the airwaves just a last fall with news of the rise of women in business and their advanced education. News? Not really. We all know this. We being women. When will Wall Street wake up. When will corporate America wake up. When will the White House wake up. I believe strongly in the power and influence of women and America’s need to look around for the talent that is there waiting to be tapped. Perhaps if we all continue to focus on the positive aspects of women’s leadership for the economy and for families we will once and for all be able to move forward and take advantage of this research.

  11. So us guy’s can take our names off the draft registry and women can sign up for it? Seriously, and speaking of Maria Shriver, she also advocated for women to make more just because they are female.

    She advocated for an economic situation(and one feminists have been pushing for awhile) where men work more hours and get paid less, while women work less hours and get paid more.

    All I know is us young guy’s didn’t start this gender war, but make no mistake about it, we will finish it.