Does Gender Make a Difference?

by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA

Women owned businesses experience greater success than those led by men, according to The Center for Women’s Leadership at Babson College.

Increasingly women are playing a larger role in the leadership of family-owned businesses. Women are making great strides in the business world, and we are building on our successes at a tremendous pace! Here are some of the highlights of The Center for Women’s Leadership recent study, which compares and contrasts the businesses owned by women versus men.

Highlights of the findings on woman-owned family businesses (WOFB) include:

  • The number of WOFBs have increased by 37% in the last five years.
  • WOFBs do more with less. Although they are somewhat smaller in size — $26.4 million — compared with the average annual $30.4 million in revenues of their male-owned counterparts, they generate their sales with fewer median employees, employing 26 individuals compared with 50 at male-owned firms. This means that female-owned family businesses are 1.7 times more productive than male-owned family firms.
  • WOFBs are more than six times as likely to have a female CEO, with more than half of woman-owned firms led by a female chief executive.
  • WOFBs experience greater family loyalty to the business, agreement with its goals, and pride in the business. They have a 40% lower rate of family member attrition.

Ready to start your dream business?

There are many resources to help you along the way including grants, free counseling and advice, and many workshops dedicated to helping women succeed. Check out these websites:

Small Business Administration
Small Business Association – Women’s Business – List of available grants
SCORE NYC – Free training and advice on starting your business
Women Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century
Guide to starting and growing your business in NYC
SmartMoney Community Services

Stacy Francis is president and CEO of Francis Financial, Inc., a fee-only wealth management practice dedicated to investment advisory services for women, couples and those experiencing divorce. She is also the founder of Savvy Ladies®, a nonprofit organization that educates and empowers women to take control of their finances.

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