- Report Published -
|Barriers to the Formation Financing and Operation of Women Owned Businesses in Virginia|
|Secretary of Commerce and Trade|
|SJR 102 (Regular Session, 1994)|
|The Small Business Administration projects that by the year 2000, women will own 50% of all businesses in America. As of 1987, 3 1 percent of all of Virginia's businesses are owned by female entrepreneurs. According to the Bureau of Census, from 1982 to 1987, the Commonwealth saw the number of women-owned business rise from 56,882 to 94,416. This is an increase of 66% in five years. Over that same period of time, receipts from these businesses increased by 239%. The Virginia Small Business Development Center (VSBDC) estimates that there are now over 100,000 women-owned businesses in Virginia today. Unfortunately, due to the limitations in the data gathered by the Virginia Employment Commission and other state agencies, more insightful statistics are unavailable. In the past the sex of business owners was not a concern, and therefore was not tracked.|
However the statistics that are available show that, like the rest of the nation, Virginia is part of a growth trend in the area of female entrepreneurship. The United States House of Representatives Committee on Small Business has concluded that the increase in women entrepreneurs is the most significant recent economic phenomena in the United States.
Senator Jane H. Woods, representing the 34th District, sponsored Senate Joint Resolution 102, which requests a study be performed to determine the barriers to the formation, financing and operation of women-owned businesses in Virginia. To this end, the VSBDC has performed a survey from their database of women-owned business on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce and Trade. This survey has been designed to look into women business owners' perceptions of the business climate and the issues of financing and procurement, as well as gathering demographic information on this rising economic group. Please see Appendix II for a sample of the survey instrument and explanation of the methodology.