Articles > Economic Analysis & Policy

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


June 2018 — 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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