You might anticipate that when it comes to entrepreneurship, the playing field is at last levelthat men and women can choose from the same opportunity sets and that they can draw on similar skills and resources. Unfortunately, this is not yet the case.
In 1997, women-owned firms averaged $1.8 million in sales. By 2000, the U.S. average had grown to $2.4 million, but women-owned firms still lagged the national average of $12.3 million for all businesses. Only 26% of women-owned firms had revenues that exceeded $1 million, whereas 39% of all firms had revenues exceeding $1 million. In 2000, women employed an average of six employees per firm compared to more than nine employees for all firms. Figure 1.2 reflects the distribution of men- and women-owned businesses measured on the dimensions of size and growth. The figure shows that the vast majority of both women- and men-owned businesses are in the small to moderate size and revenue category with only a select few at the top end. Women-owned businesses are far more likely to be smaller and slower growing than those of their male counterparts.
Figure 1.2 Distribution of men- and women-owned businesses by size and growth.