The number of women-owned businesses went up 43% over the past decade, including a meteoric 77% jump in Brooklyn, according to a study. But their male-owned counterparts still outpace them in everything from revenue to number of employees, officials said.
The increases were highlighted in the preliminary results of a study from the city’s Department of Small Business Services during the Thursday launch of Women Entrepreneurs NYC, a program meant to connect 5,000 women entrepreneurs with the skills, services and connections they need to grow their businesses. Experts said the recession may have pushed more women to launch on their own to supplement family income because of the loss of a job, for example.
According to the study, there are approximately 359,000 women-owned businesses in the five boroughs, making up 32% of the total. Over the past decade, that number has grown by 43%, outpacing the 25% growth of male-owned enterprises and the 39% combined growth of all businesses.
Growth in Brooklyn was the fastest with a 77% increase over that time period, making it home to the most women-owned businesses of any borough at 30.5%, city data shows. Staten Island had just 3.4% women-owned businesses by comparison. Brooklyn’s increase was followed by Queens’ 64% growth during the decade. The other boroughs saw increases of less than 40%.
But businesses owned by men still have a distinct advantage, the study found. Men own 1.5 times the number of businesses that women do, generate 4.5 times more revenue and employ 3.5 times more people, according to the study.
Women are also underrepresented in areas with the greatest financial potential such as manufacturing and finance and are concentrated instead in sectors like social services, which tend to generate less revenue. According to the report, access to capital, discrimination, education and training are some of the barriers women face when trying to launch or sustain their businesses.