3rd in a series of briefs on Women & Wealth
The numbers of women-owned businesses in the US have increased dramatically in the past two decades. In fact, women-owned businesses have experienced a growth rate of 114% (two and a half times the average for all businesses) since 1997. As of January 2017, there were over 11 million women-owned businesses in the US employing almost 9 million people and generating $1.7 trillion in sales. Despite this impressive growth for women-owned firms, a dramatic wealth gap persists when comparing the wealth built by male vs. female-owned firms.
Overall gender disparities in wealth stem from a variety of complex and intertwined discriminatory and systemic factors that make it hard for women to benefit from wealth-building opportunities including those which constrain entrepreneurial women from starting and growing successful wealth-building businesses. Specific systemic factors limiting women’s ability to build sustained wealth from business ownership include lower overall starting wealth positions, limited access to capital, tax policy, and debt.
Since the median net worth of all unmarried adults who own businesses is close to nine times higher than unmarried adults who do not own businesses, it is imperative that we fully understand the barriers, opportunities and strategies which are needed to develop the ecosystem to help women build, grow and sustain wealth through business ownership.
Join us as we delve into the existing landscape of women-lead companies and explore the systemic barriers and systems impeding their ability to build wealth through business ownership; and suggests strategies which grant-makers, policy advocates and practitioners can support to enable women to build sustained wealth through business ownership.