WASHINGTON, D.C.- (May 19, 2020) -- The U.S. Census Bureau today released new statistics from the 2018 Annual Business Survey (ABS). Since its founding in 1988, the National Women's Business Council (NWBC) has depended on data collection from the U.S. Census Bureau to fulfill its statutory obligation and mission. The Council must, in relevant part, promote and assist in the development of a women’s business census and other surveys of women-owned businesses. We are thrilled to share the most recent findings relating to women-owned employer firms.
Estimates show that in 2017 1.1 million employer firms were owned by women. The sectors with the most women-owned businesses included the health care and social assistance industry with 16.9% (192,159), professional, scientific, and technical services with 16.4% (185,649), and the retail trade industry with 11.7% (132,894).
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ABS data accounts for only 10% of women-owned firms in the U.S., as the overwhelming majority are nonemployer businesses (those without employees). NWBC continues to highlight the need for timelier, reliable data collection efforts that ensure every woman-owned business in America is counted. We look forward to the completion of the Nonemployer Statistics by Demographics (NES-D) product, which will provide a more holistic look at the landscape of women’s business enterprise.