The startup rate for women-led businesses has recovered from the recession, and women of color are leading the way.
In 2014, women opened the doors of 887 new businesses every day, up from 602 in 2011. Women of color contributed to more than half of that growth last year, opening on average nearly 500 businesses daily, according to the new 2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, prepared with Census data by Womenable, a research organization supporting women's entrepreneurship, and commissioned by American Express OPEN.
Overall, the number of women-owned firms has grown by 17 percent between 2007 and 2014, almost triple the rate of growth (7 percent) between 2007 and 2012 at the height of the recession. Since 1997, the number of female-run businesses has grown by 74 percent, well above the national growth rate of 51 percent for all firms. Women now run more than 9.4 million businesses in the United States.
Change in firms, employment, and revenue, 1997-2015
Nonwhite entrepreneurs have been steadily contributing to the growth of women-owned firms over the past two decades. In 1997, they represented one-in-six female entrepreneurs and ran just under 1 million businesses. Today, women of color own more than 3 million businesses across the United States, and one out of every three female entrepreneurs is a woman of color. Their businesses employ 1.6 million workers and generate more than $260 billion in annual revenue.