June 11, 2015

Mass. lags in growth of women-owned businesses

A recent report ranked Massachusetts 34th in the nation when it comes to growth of women-owned businesses in the last 18 years.

Massachusetts has lagged behind the nation somewhat in the rate of growth in women-owned businesses since 1997, according to the fifth annual State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, released last month.

The state currently has an estimated 212,600 women-owned firms currently, employing 180,300 workers. This represents a 49 percent increase in the number of women-owned businesses in the state since 1997, according to the report commissioned by American Express OPEN.

Nationally, there are 9.4 million women-owned enterprises, a figure that has grown by 74 percent from 1997's 5.4 million. The report analyzed 1997, 2002 and 2007 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, and projects data for 2015.

While Massachusetts is ranked 34th in the nation in growth of number of women-owned firms over the past 18 years, it is 14th (102.9%) in growth of firm revenue between 1997 and 2015. That growth was 102.9 percent from 1997's $16.8 million to 2015's estimated $34.0 million.

New to the 2015 report is analysis ranking states by their growth in number of women-owned businesses since the recession. Massachusetts is ranked 5th on that list, with 194 percent in post-recession growth (2007-2015) vs. pre-recession (2002-2007). For metropolitan areas in the country, Boston is ranked 7th, with 88 percent in post-recession growth ('07-''15) vs. pre-recession ('02-'07).

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