The annual Biz2Credit Women-Owned Business Study found that by 2022 women-owned businesses had higher earnings growth (up 27%) than men-owned businesses (22%). annual sales by 2% and operating expenses by 3% last year, according to the analysis published each year on International Women’s Day (March 8).
The Biz2Credit Women-Owned Business Study examined financial indicators including annual revenue, operating expenses, company age and credit scores of 150,000 small business loan applicants.
- Average earnings (Annual Revenue – Operating Expenses) for women-owned businesses Up 27% ($57,712 in 2022, up from $45,295 in 2021), while revenue for male businesses increased 22% ($108,067 in 2022, up from $88,328 in 2021). Revenue for all small businesses increased 23% last year, from $69,451 in 2021 to $85,593 in 2022.
- Average turnover for women-owned businesses rose 2% to $263,091 in 2022, up from $258,590 the previous year. A year-over-year comparison showed a 2% increase in total annual sales and a 3% decrease in operating expenses.
- The average credit score for women decreased by 1 point from 588 in 2021 to 587 in 2022. The credit score for male-owned businesses was 610 in 2022, down two points from 612 the year before. (Credit scores based on owners’ personal FICO scores.) Loan applications from women’s businesses were 45% of financing applications on Biz2Credit’s platform; male-owned firms submitted 55%.
- Average financed amount: Men-owned businesses received $93,976 in funding, while women-owned businesses received an average of $55,898.
- State funding applications: Most loan applications from women-owned businesses came from Texas, Georgia, Florida, California, and Illinois. The median operating age for female-owned businesses was about 3.5 years (41 months), while male-owned businesses are slightly over 4 years (50 months) longer.
- Categories of companies: Other services (other than public administration) accounted for 29% of women-owned businesses in the survey, followed by retail (16.5%), housing and food services (8.9%), health care and social assistance (7.2 %) and arts, entertainment and recreation (6.1%). Women-owned companies in the manufacturing sector experienced a 35% increase in profits, while companies in the information technology (IT) sector had the highest average turnover.
Women-owned companies did very well in 2022. Their revenues increased by 27%, which is more than the growth of male-owned companies in the previous year. We saw growth in women-owned businesses in sectors such as services, manufacturing, accommodation and food, and healthcare.
With more and more people buying goods online, service companies have thrived. Many of them, including spas and nail salons, are run by women. As COVID restrictions eased, people started spending again. Women-owned businesses benefited from pent-up demand.
The importance of women-owned businesses
In the U.S., there are nearly 13 million businesses owned by women as of 2019, and the number of businesses owned by women of color increased 43% from 2014 to 2019, according to American Express’s State of Women-Owned Businesses Report. An estimated 10 million people are employed by women-owned companies, generating nearly $1.8 trillion in revenue, according to the Census Bureau.
Biz2Credit partnered with the Association of Women’s Business Centers, which works to secure economic justice and entrepreneurial opportunity by supporting and sustaining a national network of 150 Women’s Business Centers (WBC). These centers help women succeed by providing training, mentorship, business development, and funding opportunities. By 2022, AWBC’s SBA-funded WBC locations served more than 85,000 clients, helped launch more than 3,000 companies, and helped clients access a record $1 billion in capital.
“Women’s Business Centers have expanded and are now reaching every state to help women access networking and funding for their businesses. The work has become heavier compared to the past few years,” says Corinne Goble, CEO of the Association of Women’s Business Centers. “The national network of nearly 150 Women’s Business Centers is seeing more start-ups, but also greater challenges in accessing opportunities and funding to help them grow and succeed.”
Federal help is needed
“When we invest in women-owned businesses, we boost our overall economy. I am proud to support female entrepreneurs and will continue my work to ensure that all business owners have equal opportunities to care for their employees and contribute to our economy,” said U.S. Representative Sharice L. Davids (D, KS-03), member of the House Small Business Committee.
Rep. Davids introduced two bills in support of military veteran and female entrepreneurs that both passed the House with broad bipartisan support. The Women’s Business Center Improvement Act increased funding for Women Business Centres, which provide a full range of critical advisory and technical training services for women-owned businesses. She also sponsored the SERV Lawthat addresses access to credit and promotes small business programs available to veterans.
Like many companies, Jonathan Sprouts, a Massachusetts-based company that increases the availability of sprouts in supermarkets and through food service companies, is a woman-owned company in a male-dominated industry. The company struggled through the pandemic and later supply chain and staffing issues that logistically and financially hampered countless small businesses.
“We couldn’t find our cups, our seeds, our labels. Everything was double due to inflation and staff shortages. We had to pay double or even triple in a very short period of time to keep our customers supplied,” explains Liz Reilley, co-owner and president of Jonathan Sprouts. “I knew I needed some money to get us through this crisis.”
“Now we see how our company is turning around. The loan gave us the time we needed to raise our prices and catch up with inflation. It literally saved our company. I wasn’t sure if we would be able to continue,” she added. “We were not prepared for a pandemic followed by supply chain shortages, staff shortages and inflation. “Today we are back on our feet. We have everything we need to continue this business. The market is strong and we will remain so for decades to come.”
While female owners did well in 2022, they face many of the same challenges as their male counterparts, including a still-tight job market, continued inflation and continually rising interest rates for those in need of working capital or start-up financing. We may never again see interest rates hovering near zero as they did for most of the 2010s, so small business borrowers will simply have to adjust to a new normal of borrowing costs this year.