Optimism Growing Among Women-Owned Small Businesses

CLEVELAND -- Business is good, according to women small business owners. A new Key4Women 2019 Financial Confidence Survey Report finds many women believe their business growth is set to continue and expand, and we could see a more level field among business ownership between men and women. The report, which surveyed 250 women small business owners, finds 71% are highly optimistic of achieving their goals in the next 12 months, a 5% increase from 2018. Business growth is also expected, as nine out of ten respondents say they plan to grow or expand their business within the next two years.

"It's very clear that optimism is the feeling among women small business owners," said Barb Smith, KeyBank Senior Vice President and Director of Key4Women. "We know the impact Key4Women can make for many women, and now we're seeing an environment where the differences in place are leading to the fruition of business growth."

Unlocking Access to Funding
One of the greatest difficulties for women starting their own businesses is access to funding for capital. 44% of women business owners have used their own personal funding to raise their start-up capital. The Confidence Survey Report shows that access is getting easier. In 2018, only 21% of women say they found no difficulty to access funding. That number has grown to 25% in 2019.

Leveling the Business Field?
While there are currently fewer women-owned small businesses compared to men, many women believe that could be changing. Among the women small business owners surveyed, 73% believe within the next five years, the number of businesses owned by men and women will either be similar, or women will own more businesses. Only 27% believe men will continue to own more businesses than women.

"Glass ceilings can be broken. We see that every day with the initiatives pursued by Key4Women. What can matter more today than it ever has is the right kind of guidance, having a strong network like Key4Women to rely upon for support to help grow their own businesses in the most effective way," said Barb Smith. "If we can continue the trends of access, along with the optimism we're hearing in survey results like this, we are truly going to see women in business reach new levels, and we'll all be better for it."