Women-owned business IS the market

Woman binocularsby Tony Fannin, CEO/Partner, BE Branded  |

We recently had an interesting cold call. When one of our sales executives was talking with a prospect (in banking), we shared with them about how dominate women are in making the decision on family banking services. She (yes, a woman) informed us that her bank was after small business owners and we explained, women-owned business is the major growth market in that sector. The banking executive flat-out told us she didn’t believe it and that almost all small business is owned by men.

To help dispel this “myth”, I’d like to present a few stats to show that women-owned business is, and will be, the prime engine for American business now and in the future and that marketing to women is just as vital in B2B as it is in B2C.

• Education Gap – Women are graduating from college at an astonishing rate compared to men. (According to Bloomberg Business Week, 30% of women under 25 will have college degrees. Only 22% of men will have college degrees. They expect this gap to widen in the next 10 years.) This translates to women being better prepared for the future, whether it’s running or owning businesses.

(The follow stats come from the American Express “State of Women Report 2013”)

• Growth Segment – There are an estimated 13.6 million businesses that are women-owned, or they have a controlling stake. Between 1997-2013, the number of business grew by 41%. Compare that to women-owned businesses which increased by 59% and this trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. (See the Education Gap bullet point.) This equates to 1 in 3 business are controlled by women.

• Job Growth – Even during the economic downturn, which started around 2007, the only bright spots in employment increases came from publicly traded companies and women-owned businesses. Women-owned businesses added 175,000 jobs. Men-owned businesses lost 635,000. This supports the claim that women-owned businesses will be the economic engine for America’s future.

So, for the banker who “doesn’t believe” in marketing to women, she (I know, the person is a women) will be losing more opportunity than she expected. If women-owned businesses are increasing and they are the ones who are growing and hiring, wouldn’t you think they are the growth market for financial and banking services?

As Wayne Gretzky has said, “Skate to where the puck is going, not where it is.” (Forgive the sports metaphor, I am a guy, after all).


About Be Branded

Tony Fannin is of President of BE Branded, an integrated marketing firm who helps clients BE Somebody to their customers. If you aren't somebody, then you are commodity.

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