What’s Holding Back Woman Entrepreneurs?

A new report from Hello Alice, EnrichHER, and NAWBO examines the latest data on what woman entrepreneurs need to succeed.

Mar 30, 2021 · 2 min read

Woman-owned businesses receive less fundingoperate in the sectors most affected by the pandemic, and are less likely to participate in federal COVID-19 relief programs. Yet despite these barriers, the most recent data from American Express reports that woman-owned businesses still generate $1.9 trillion in revenue and employ 9.4 million people across the United States. What challenges do these resilient owners face, and how can we all help them continue to succeed?

These questions are at the heart of a new impact report released by Hello Alice, EnrichHER, and the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) in honor of Women’s History Month.

Titled “The Woman-Owned Economy,” this document is part of a series built on anonymous user data and survey responses from a growing body of grant applications. Analyzing data from the more than 123,000 woman small business owners on our platform, Hello Alice has captured a profile of who these owners are, where they operate, and what they need to succeed.

Key data points include:

  • The majority of woman small business owners on Hello Alice are over the age of 40.
  • 27% of woman-owned businesses have a company revenue under $25,000.
  • 40% of woman-owned businesses report customer referrals as their top acquisition channel.
  • 84% of woman entrepreneurs expect their business to perform better in 2021 than in 2020.

The report also includes stories from woman entrepreneurs that describe entrepreneurship as a path toward self-sufficiency, flexibility, and empowerment. One of these owners is Elizabeth Gadbois who founded The Body Lounge, a natural bath and body shop located in Stowe, Vermont.

The business opened in 2005 with a limited supply of products. Over the years, Gadbois has added gifts and developed a popular line of arnica products now available in stores nationwide. The Body Lounge was one of the first to receive a Hello Alice COVID-19 Business for All Emergency Grant, which Gadbois says bolstered the company’s bottom line at a crucial moment as she needed to support her family and try new things at her business.

“We’re able to breath easier with the weight of financial obligations temporarily relieved, and it’s a fantastic gift to be able to reinvent one’s business,” Gadbois says. “We see this year as an opportunity to be a better more dynamic version of our former selves.”

Download the full Hello Alice Impact Report

If your company or organization is interested in supporting this important work or gaining insights about your community of business owners, please reach out to [email protected].

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