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Women Business Owners: Patterns of Women Owned and Managed Businesses in Wisconsin


Women as business owners may be an underutilized resource for economic development and growth. Policies aimed at equitably enhancing business ownership should consider the unique nature of women-owned and managed businesses. These policies should reflect the unique manner in which women approach entrepreneurship.

  • In 2011, women-owned or managed nearly 19% of businesses in Wisconsin.
  • The number of women-owned or managed businesses more than tripled between 1990 and 2011 growing significantly during the 1990s and then stabilizing between 2000 and 2011.
  • In 2011, women-owned or managed 80,000 Wisconsin businesses, employed over 550,000 workers, and earned $45 B in sales.
  • Women-owned or managed establishments employ fewer workers on average than the typical Wisconsin business regardless of industry sector.
  • Women-owned or managed businesses are most common in educational, health care, and social assistance services.

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