Key Facts

About Women Business Owners

Women owned businesses are a fast-growing sector. As their numbers grow, female entrepreneurs are increasing their economic clout. Women are not only running their business ventures successfully, but as consumers women make the majority of financial, travel, household, and healthcare decisions for themselves and their families. Women Business Owners (WBO) is the premier organization supporting women entrepreneurs in Western Washington.


WBO Sponsorship provides the opportunity for your organization to connect with a highly desirable target audience consisting of:

  • WBO’s Membership of professional, college-educated, female small business owners.
  • The WBO community, including 1,500+ subscribers to our monthly newsletter The Wire and 1,800+ followers on social media.


About Women Business Owners and their Enterprises


Women business owners are critically important economic players and contributors nationally:

  • There are nearly 10 million woman-owned businesses in the United States, an increase of 27.5% since 2007.
  • Women-owned businesses generate $1.6 trillion dollars in revenue per year, and employ more than $7.5 million people in addition to the owner.


In Western Washington:

    • One-third of all privately held firms in the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area are women owned.
    • The 70,000 women-owned firms in the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area employ nearly 96,000 people and generate nearly $13 billion in sales annually.
    • This is a growing market segment, with nearly 20,000 more women-owned businesses in the Seattle metro area than there were 12 years ago.
    • Washington State has seen a 43% increase since 1997 in women- owned businesses and an 80%+ increase in sales in the same time period.
    • Seattle ranks #8 among the nation’s cities with the greatest increase in female-owned firms since 2002.


As business owners, women are highly educated, growth-oriented, skillful managers.

      • Women entrepreneurs are business-savvy: Women who have started businesses in the last 10 years have more managerial experience and education with the same overall revenue and employment profiles as women who have been in business 20 years or more. They are also more growth-oriented.
      • Women business owners are less hierarchical, make more deliberate decisions, and are more likely to draw upon input from others in making those decisions.


They are also adept at using technology to drive their business.

      • Six in ten women business owners (61%) use the Internet in their business. Among Internet users, 50% of women-owned firms have Web sites.
      • 75% of women business owners purchase goods and services for their business online.


They are excellent employers and exemplary corporate citizens.

      • Women business owners employ a more diverse workforce than male business owners (52% women, 48% men vs. 38% women, 62% men, on average).
      • Women-owned firms in the U.S. are more likely than the average firm to offer flex-time, tuition reimbursement, and, at a smaller size, profit sharing to their workers.
      • Women business owners and executives are generous philanthropists: 70% volunteer at least once a month and 31% contribute $5,000 or more to charity annually.


They perceive their greatest challenges to be:

      • Access – to capital, to education and training, to networks and markets.
      • Inability to buy health insurance.
      • Balancing responsibilities at work and at home.


Sources: Puget Sound Business Journal, National Center for Women’s Business Research and National Women’s Business Council