If women entrepreneurs in the US started out with the same capital as men, they would add 6 million jobs in five years — 2 million of those in the first year alone. What’s more, the 8 million women-owned businesses in the US create or maintain more than 23 million jobs, 16% of all US employment.
If those statistics haven’t convinced you of the power of women entrepreneurs, consider that worldwide, women own or operate 25% to 33% of all private businesses, and that women-owned enterprises grow faster than those owned by men and faster than businesses overall. Put all this together and it’s clear that far from being a niche market, women-owned businesses can be the tipping point for a global economic comeback.
The problem, though, is that economic, legal and cultural obstacles often prevent women from increasing the scale of their enterprises enough to trigger significant economic renewal. In some countries, women face discriminatory laws. In others, their needs for capital and access to business networks go unmet.
What can make a difference? How can we unleash the potential of women to grow their businesses and revive our stagnant economy? For in-depth answers, take a look at EY’s special report, Scaling up: why women-owned businesses can recharge the global economy. The second in our landmark Groundbreakers series, which explores how organizations can drive business through diversity, the report features a thorough roundup of current research on women’s entrepreneurship, as well as original interviews with and commentary by notable policy-makers and heads of global organizations. It’s an urgent call for swift action to turn women entrepreneurs into agents of positive change.