If you can't beat them, leave them. That's what more and more businesswomen, frustrated with the corporate ladder climb and the glass-ceiling crunch, seem to have done. In 1997, there were 5.4 million women-owned businesses (privately held companies in which women own 51 percent or more of the firm), according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau figures. But because the definition of â€œwomen-owned businessesâ€? has narrowed over the years, the female touch is underestimated when making prior-year comparisons. In 1992, for instance, the census figures indicate there were 6.4 million â€œwomen-ownedâ€? firms, but back then the definition included firms with 50 percent female ownership and publicly held firms with a majority of female shareholders. Thus, using the old definition, there were actually 7.5 million women-owned businesses in 1997, accounting for a 16 percent growth between 1992 and 1997 â€” almost three times the rate for all privately held firms.
In 1997, there were more than 5.4 million women-owned businesses, and 85 percent of them were sole-proprietorships.
|TOTAL NUMBER||% OF TOTAL||RECEIPTS|
|Women-Owned Businesses||5,417,034||100%||$818.7 billion|
|Have Paid Employees||846,780||16%||$717.8 billion|
|Have 100+ Employees||7,439||0.1%||$248.3 billion|
|*In 1997, the census defined women-owned businesses as privately held companies in which women own 51 percent or more of the firm.|
|Source: U.S. Census Bureau|