With the rate of women-owned businesses growing at one and a half times the national average, there has never been a better time to be a female entrepreneur. Not only are there more opportunities for business ownership – from franchises, to startups, to in-home businesses – the number of resources and funding sources for these businesses continues to grow. Here are five things you didn’t know about the woman-specific faction of the U.S. economy.

 

There are more than 9 million woman-owned businesses in the United States.

The 2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report commissioned by American Express OPEN analyzes key economic trends related to women-owned businesses. The report showed that there are more than 9.4 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. These businesses employ almost 8 million people and contribute almost $1.5 trillion to the economy.

 

Since 1997, the number of woman business owners has increased by 74 percent. Not only are women entrepreneurs opening more businesses, they are also contributing more revenue than most other sectors, says the American Express OPEN report. These businesses lead the way in growth rates in the private sector, and are only eclipsed by large, publicly traded companies.

 

The majority of women-owned businesses are within the healthcare, education, and service industries.

As of 2015, women account for 17 percent of the businesses in healthcare; 16 percent of repair services; and 13 percent of professional service providers, such as accounting, tax preparation and attorneys.

 

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has a number of resources and grants available specifically for women entrepreneurs.

Centered on maintaining a strong economy and providing aid and counsel to small business, the SBA is an independent federal agency that has developed a number of programs and funding sources aimed specifically at women. The SBA staffs 100 Women’s Business Centers nationwide, plus it provides a number of grants, loans and resources for woman business owners through the Office of Women’s Business Ownership.

 

There are infinite free resources available for women in business.

For anyone willing to invest the time to do some research, there are a number of free resources available for women seeking to start their own business. These invaluable resources range from mentorship, to help creating a business plan, to networking. Here are some ideas to help you get started:

  • Chic CEO – free resources for women entrepreneurs, including articles on how to buy a franchise, starting a business and inventing a product
  • Ladies Who Launch – provides both free and paid resources for female entrepreneurs
  • Women’s Business Development Center – a non-profit that provides free resources and reasonably priced workshops to help women start and grow their businesses

 

Are you a female business owner? What resources do you use to run your business successfully? Share with us in the comments below! Don’t miss out on our awesome blog posts – follow us on Facebook and Twitter!