Women in Business Statistics for 2023: The Rise of Female Entrepreneurs

Women entrepreneurs and leaders saw tremendous growth in recent years. However, substantial barriers remain compared to their male counterparts. This comprehensive guide details the latest trends, analyzing statistics on women-owned businesses, funding disparities, pandemic impacts, and more.

As a small business owner and consultant for over 15 years, I‘ve witnessed women‘s challenges firsthand. While progress marches forward, fair access to capital and networks still lags. My mission is supporting female entrepreneurs in starting, growing and scaling profitable, sustainable companies.

That said, the future looks bright for women in business! Cultural shifts, targeted support programs and an influx of skilled leaders serves to bolster economies overall.

Steady Climb in Women-Owned Businesses

Women are rapidly expanding their business ownership:

  • 45% growth in women-owned firms from 2007-2016, compared to 9% overall [1]
  • 13 million women-owned businesses as of 2020, employing 9.4 million [2]
  • 42% of all businesses are women-owned, generating $1.9 trillion in revenue [2]

These fast-growing firms employ millions and meaningfully expand GDP. However, the pandemic disproportionately impacted female entrepreneurs…

Pandemic Deal Women‘s Firms a Major Blow

  • 25% drop in active women-owned businesses from Feb-April 2020 [2]
  • 38.3% saw significant sales decreases vs. 31.3% of men-owned [3]
  • 62.3% sought financing for operating expenses vs. 54.6% of men [3]

Government restrictions severely impacted industries with high female participation, like retail and personal services. Women also disproportionately bear family responsibilities, increasing strain.

We must support women with financing, networks and programs to reignite growth and resiliency.

Alarming Gender Gap in Venture Capital Persists

Raising startup capital remains extremely challenging for female founders:

  • Women received just 2% of VC in 2021 [4]
  • Male founders receive 98% of all VC funding [4]
  • 2021 saw the lowest VC to women in 5 years – down from 2.8% in 2018 [4]

Research shows investors pose different questions to women founders, focus excessively on risk, and provide less useful mentorship. Together, these biases compound and severely inhibit women‘s access to capital.

Women‘s ideas and ingenuity deserve an equal shot. Gender-intentional funds helping bridge this divide are hugely impactful.