According to Biz2Credit’s annual Women-Owned Business Study, although revenues dropped for women-owned firms in 2020, their earnings grew, primarily because expenses have decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Women-owned business earnings averaged $330,226, which was higher than in 2019 but $421,928 below the average for men-owned firms ($716,842) in 2020. The analysis also revealed that while the average credit score (597) for women who own businesses increased from 590 last year, it was 23 points lower than the average score of men who own businesses (620) in the study.
The Biz2Credit study reviewed 40,0000 credit inquiries from across the country for the full prior year (2020) and examined the financial performance of women-owned small- to mid-sized companies in the United States. Despite austerity imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, many women-owned businesses continued to find growth opportunities.
During 2020, the effects of the pandemic were especially notable for women-owned companies, many of whom have been historically less-well financed compared with men-owned firms.
“Lower financial indicators among female business owners are indicative of lacking service and attention provided by traditional financial institutions. This creates a financial opportunity gap among women who are running their own companies compared to men,” Rohit Arora, CEO of Biz2Credit, said. “COVID-19 shed light on this trend by exacerbating a gender business funding gap that has long existed.”
The Biz2Credit analysis examined financial indicators of loan applicants, including annual revenue, operating expenses, age of business and personal credit score.
Key findings from the Biz2Credit Women-Owned Business Study
Performance of Women-Owned Businesses
Comparison of Women-Owned and Men-Owned Companies
Biz2Credit compared women-owned and men-owned business health in its study, and the numbers underscore a larger problem. Women-owned firms are much less likely to apply for loans. Part of the problem is that, on average, their companies’ earnings were less than half of the earnings of businesses owned by men and their credit scores were lower. Some specifics:
More than one-quarter (25.8%) of the women-owned companies that applied for business loans during the past 12 months have been in services (except public administration). Retail accounted for 17% of the applicants, followed by healthcare and social assistance (9.5%); accommodation and food services (9.2%); construction (6.2%); and arts, entertainment and recreation (5.5%).
Texas and California were the states that produced the most applications from women-owned companies, followed by Georgia, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois and Tennessee.
“The average funded amount for women-owned businesses ($39,731) was 36% less than the same for male-owned businesses ($61,958) in 2020,” Arora said. “Upon thorough analysis, business-related factors, including lower FICO scores, younger age of business and higher operating expenses played a more significant role in this gap, rather than gender alone. But there is a gender gap all the same.”
Paycheck Protection Program Round Two
In December 2020, Congress appropriated $284 billion for small business COVID-19 relief for a second round of the Paycheck Protection Program. Biz2Credit examined its data from PPP loan applicants and discovered that 49% of the applicants for the second round of the PPP were women business owners (compared with all SBA lenders at 31%). The average approved amount for PPP round two applicants who identified as women who own a business on the Biz2Credit platform was $22,000 compared with $30,000 for those who identified as men who own a business.
Jennifer Moore, a self-described “mom-preneur” credits the $20,000 PPP loan she got with Biz2Credit’s help as a “lifeline” that kept her home-based business, Stickers By Jennifer, going. The mother of two creates planner stickers that she usually sells at craft fairs and other events in and around Wayne, MI.
“I couldn’t make money locally, and COVID made it unsafe to travel, so I had to figure out how to run my business completely online,” Moore said. “When selling online, the key is speed. Customers want things quickly. I got new cutting machines; now I’m ready to cut and send out the same day by Amazon Prime.”
“PPP funding is betting on businesses like Ms. Moore’s that are putting in hard work, adapting to new market realities and adopting creative solutions to overcome this pandemic. These loans are helping truly small businesses stay viable,” Arora said. “Biz2Credit is proud to be the nation’s leading provider of PPP loans in terms of the number of loans approved.”
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