Report: Revenues double at N.H. women-owned firms

There are over 10,000 more women-owned firms in New Hampshire than there were 15 years ago, and revenues from women-owned firms in the state have more than doubled over the same period.That’s according to a new national report released by the U.S. Census Bureau and commissioned by American Express OPEN. It found that over the last decade and a half, women-owned businesses in New Hampshire ranked sixth nationally in terms of revenue growth.In 1997, women-owned businesses in the state had revenues of $3.1 million; by 2012, they had grown 122 percent to an estimated $6.9 million.Also over that period, the number of women-owned firms in the state has risen by nearly 40 percent, from about 27,200 companies in 1997 to 37,700 in 2012. While significant, that figure lagged behind the national average of 54 percent growth (a rate 1 1/2 times the national average for all firms).All told, the report ranked the Granite State as 17th nationally for the “economic clout” of its women-owned businesses, calculated by factoring their revenues, employment growth and growth in number of firms. Several neighboring states didn’t do so well, with Vermont, Maine and Rhode Island ranking in the bottom five nationally for clout.According to the report, 90 percent of all women-owned firms have no employees other than the business owner, and only 2 percent of firms owned by women have 10 or more employees (compared to 3 percent of all firms). According to the report, New Hampshire’s estimated 37,700 women-owned firms employ only slightly more – 37,800.That falls roughly in line with national figures. While the report said women-owned businesses make up 29 percent of all firms nationwide, they only employ 6 percent of the country’s workforce, and account for just under 4 percent of business revenues.Nationally, the report found that the industries with the highest concentration of women-owned firms are health care and social assistance (53 percent of these firms are women-owned), educational services, (45 percent), other services (40 percent) and administrative and waste services (37 percent).Industries with the lowest concentration of women owners were construction (8 percent) and finance and insurance (20 percent). The remainder of industries were close to the 29 percent overall share, which, according to the report, illustrates “that women-owned firms are staking a claim in all sectors of the U.S. economy.” — KATHLEEN CALLAHAN/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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