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Women who run their own small businesses are feeling bullish about annual revenue and they are expecting their businesses to grow, according to the first Bank of America Women Business Owner Spotlight – and they are feeling more excited about the future than their male counterparts.
When you look at the numbers you find that more than half (54%) of women entrepreneurs anticipate seeing an increase in their overall revenue during the next year. While just 48% of men believe the same. What about business growth? Here too women entrepreneurs are out performing their male counterparts when it comes to optimism with 60% believing that they will see growth over the next five years, while just 52% of men feel the same way.
How will women entrepreneurs be financing the growth of their enterprises? They will be using a mix of methods with 28% using their business credit card and 23% going for bank based financing.
"Female entrepreneurs are excited about the future and focused on the success of their small businesses. They are demonstrating much greater levels of optimism than their male counterparts," said Sharon Miller, managing director, head of Small Business, Bank of America.
Glass ceiling still in play
Yes, is the answer when asked if the glass ceiling exists, with 77% of women small business owners and 56% of men reporting that the class ceiling is a reality for both women and minorities. Yet women entrepreneurs are divided on what it means in terms of their opportunities with 54% indicating that they don't feel like it is getting in their way, while 46% believe it has limited them at certain points.
Yet even with that 79% believe that it has not limited their access to clients and 75% believe it has not reduced their ability to access resources. But when it comes to getting capital 28% believe it has gotten in their way and 25% say that it has impacted their ability to get new business.
Empowerment rules the day
Feeling empowered is exactly how being a small business owner makes 49% of women feel, here too outperforming their male counterparts by 10%. With 54% reporting that it also makes them feel successful, and for 35% having their own business makes them feel more content, rather than stressed out.
Perhaps this is not such a surprise considering that 51% started their businesses because the only boss they wanted to report to was themselves. While 20% wanted to make more money, and just 8% took the plunge because they didn't like their last job.
The Bank of America Women Business Owner Spotlight Survey was conducted online by GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications from March 17 to April 19. They interviewed a pre-recruited sample of female and male small business owners. The national sample included 1,000 U.S based small business owners employing between 2 and 99 employees and having an annual revenue between $100,000 and $4,999,999.