Female Entrepreneurship Soaring as Women Started 49% of New Businesses in 2021

04/19/2023

Female entrepreneurship is surging. Of all new businesses launched in the United States in 2021, 49% were started by women.

It’s a remarkable change from 2019, when just 28% of all new businesses were started by women.

There’s still room to grow, however, as just 25% of all businesses in the United States are owned by women. Male business owners continue to outnumber women 3 to 1.

A recent survey by human resources cloud software company Gusto found women and entrepreneurs of color are leading the startup boom in the United States, as reported by the World Economic Forum.

Gusto posted its findings after surveying new business owners and gathering responses from 2,600 entrepreneurs.

Key findings from Gusto’s report include:

  • 5.4 million new businesses were created in the United States in 2021, which is a record high. The number is particularly surprising because the United States was still grappling with the pandemic.
  • In 2019, 28% of new businesses were founded by women. In 2021, that number grew to 49%, with nearly half of all new businesses in the United States launched by women.
  • Entrepreneurship is also increasing among people of color. Black and African American entrepreneurs started 3% of businesses in 2019. In 2021, that number tripled to 9%, with nearly 1 in 10 new businesses launched by black or African American entrepreneurs.
  • The surge was led by professional services businesses. Early in the pandemic, most new businesses focused were in the retail and food and beverage niches. Since 2021, the country has seen increasing growth in professional services, fuelled by the tech boom.
    Gusto is calling the startup boom, “The Great Creation.” It’s a sharp transformation from The Great Resignation economists were recently discussing.

You can view Gusto’s full report on female and minority entrepreneurship here.

The Majority of One Person Enterprises in Europe Are Led by Women

According to the European Commission, women entrepreneurs constitute 29% of entrepreneurs in Europe, with around 11.6 million across the continent.

The report also found the majority of one-person enterprises (78%) were led by women. The sector includes health and social work-related businesses, professional services, and education.

Globally, roughly 1 in 3 businesses are owned by women.

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