Contact: Mike Bergman
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The number of women-owned businesses grew 20 percent between 1997 and 2002, twice the national average for all businesses, according to a new U.S. Census Bureau report. The nearly 6.5 million businesses generated more than $940 billion in revenue, up 15 percent from 1997.
The report, 2002 Survey of Business Owners: Women-Owned Firms, [PDF] provides a more complete portrait of these businesses following an initial sketch of all firms released last July. The new data provides more information at the state, metropolitan, county and city levels as well as by kind of business.
Women owned nearly 30 percent of nonfarm businesses in the United States in 2002. While 14 percent of women-owned firms employed more than 7.1 million people, the vast majority of businesses owned by women (nearly 5.6 million) had no employees.
The 2002 Survey of Business Owners (SBO) defines women-owned businesses as privately held firms in which women own 51 percent or more of the interest or stock of the business. The 2002 data show that in addition to the nearly 6.5 million majority women-owned firms, there were almost 2.7 million equally male/female-owned firms with $731.4 billion in receipts. Separate reports on minority-owned businesses will be issued over the coming months.
Data for 2002 are not directly comparable to previous survey years because of several significant changes to the survey methodology. See “Comparability of 2002 and 1997 SBO Data.”
The data collected in a sample survey are subject to sampling variability as well as nonsampling errors. Sources of nonsampling errors include errors of response, nonreporting and coverage.