Look at profiles of the top 25 entrepreneurs under 25 and guess how many women make the list?


Come on…


Shama Kabani is the one woman profiled. She’s an author, an international keynote speaker, and a web and television personality..

1 out of 25. Can’t say I like those odds…

A quick search online reveals plenty of resources for women entrepreneurs:

  •     Women Entrepreneurs of Canada
  •     Office of Entrepreneurial Development
  •     Women-21.gov
  •     The Stevie Awards
  •     Resources for Women Business Owners
  •     National Women’s Business Council

The statistics paint both a positive and negative picture. Here’s some information from an article at Business Know-How.

Here’s a positive stat:

    According to the Center for Women’s Business research, the number of women-owned businesses in this country grew at twice the rate of all firms between 1997 and 2002.

Further to that:

    The Small Business Administration finds that women-owned businesses account for 28 percent of all privately-owned businesses and they employ 9.2 million people. They contribute $2.38 trillion in revenue to the U.S. economy.

Those are considered fairly positive numbers. The growth aspect of women in business is most important. But let’s look at the flip side too:

    The number of sole-proprietorships grew from 5.6 million in 1990 (which was 33.5 percent of the total) to 7.1 million in 1998 (which was 36.8 percent of the total). Big gain in number, but only a slight gain as a percentage of businesses in general.


    The receipts from women sole proprietorships grew over the period from 15.2 percent of the total to 18 percent. That’s a gain for sure, but when 36.8 percent of the businesses are women-owned and that chunk only produces 18 percent of the receipts, it’s clear that women-owned businesses are not producing nearly the revenue of their male counterparts.

You can almost always analyze statistics in different ways. One person looks at the numbers positively, another looks at them negatively.

My question is whether we’re seeing enough women get into entrepreneurship at a young age. I’m sure the number has increased over the last few decades, but is it enough? And why aren’t more women represented in a survey like the one done at BusinessWeek? Many of the businesses listed in the BusinessWeek article were more high-tech focused, which is not an area women dominate. Most businesses started by women are in the service arena. So perhaps BusinessWeek’s focus wasn’t in the right place for really assessing the top 25 entrepreneurs under 25…