By Bridget Weston Pollack, Vice President of Markting & Communications at SCORE
SCORE’s 2018 “The Megaphone of Main Street: Women’s Entrepreneurship” data report surveyed women on their triumphs and pitfalls in starting and running their businesses.
Our fourth infographic based on this data report explores why women across age groups start businesses and how they choose their respective industries.
How do women choose when to start their businesses?
Women ages 18 and older were asked why they decided to pursue entrepreneurship when they did. Respondents said they started their businesses because of an open opportunity; passion; a job change; an accumulation of experience and education in their chosen field; family considerations; and necessities such as layoffs and a need for extra income.
When comparing the women’s ages and the reasons they opened a new business, two points stand out in the data. Twenty-eight percent of business owners under age 34 started a business based on market opportunity, and 28% of owners over age 65 started a business out of necessity.
When asked to elaborate on her decision to start a business based on opportunity, one millennial said, “I had an idea and decided it was the time to build it.”
Meanwhile, one baby boomer who started her business out of necessity shared, “I was going to be laid off from a job of 22 years with no pension.”
On the other hand, Gen-Xers most frequently cited family considerations as the top reason for starting a business.
However, the specific family considerations taken into account differed from person to person. One woman in this category said, “It coincided with when we decided to start our family.”
Another said, “I rushed into my business because I didn’t have children.”
Both shared very different family-driven reasons for starting their businesses.
How do women entrepreneurs decide what industries to pursue?
Women are starting businesses in all industries. Among the women surveyed:
- 14% started businesses in the health care and social assistance industry
- 13% in businesses in retail
- 9% in education
- 8% in hospitality, travel and food services
- 7% in arts, recreation and entertainment
- 6% in advertising, public relations and marketing
- 5% in construction and manufacturing
- 5% in management and IT consulting
- 3% in real estate
- 2% in wholesale sales and trades
Thirty percent of women classified their businesses under “other professional services.”
When asked why they chose the industry they did:
- 45% of women said it was due to their prior experience and education
- 31% chose their industry based on passion
- 15% saw an opportunity in that industry
- 6% chose to help others
How do women fund their businesses?
When asked about financing, a whopping 73% of women said they were self-financing their business, while 27% sought outside financing. One woman who sought funding said she wanted to build business credit, while another wanted to speed up her business’s growth. Some of the 73% who were self-financing did not think they could find financing.
Whether it’s tech, construction, or anything in between, women of all ages from all over the country are creating their own businesses for a variety of reasons.
Read the rest of “The Megaphone of Main Street: Women’s Entrepreneurship” data report and see the previous three infographics.
If you’re looking for someone to help you start your business, reach out and get a SCORE mentor today. We would love to walk you through the details and help you get your business off the ground!
Bridget Weston Pollack is the Vice President of Marketing & Communications at SCORE. In this role, Bridget is responsible for all branding, marketing, PR and communications efforts. She focuses on implementing marketing plans and strategies for the organization to facilitate the growth of SCORE’s mentoring and training services.