Women’s Business Council Releases PPA Research On Factors Influencing Companies’ Growth
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Posted by: Michelle Rahl
For Immediate Release Contact: Colleen E. Graber
March 25, 2014 (517) 485-4477
Women’s Business Council Releases PPA Research
On Factors Influencing Companies’ Growth
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Women’s Business Council has released new research by Public Policy Associates, Inc. (PPA) on key factors influencing the growth of businesses owned by women.
The research provides insights into why women-owned businesses have grown more slowly than those owned by men and suggests strategies for the council to support their growth. The research centers on women business owners’ attitudes around risk tolerance, motivations, and expectations.
“Our research shows the complexity that underlies the performance of women-owned businesses. Developing risk tolerance among these owners is a critical step toward remedying that lag in growth,” said Colleen Graber, PPA Director of Education and Workforce. “The study pointed to several important considerations for those who work with startups and second-stage businesses owned by women.” Second-stage businesses are established companies that have the potential for growth.
PPA explored the attitudes and preferences of 81 women entrepreneurs through focus groups and telephone interviews in three metropolitan locations, Houston, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. In addition, PPA reviewed prior research and analyzed public data sets.
Major findings include:
· Women business owners in the study who were most willing to tolerate risk had higher expectations for business performance and growth. In its own comments about the report, the council noted that avoiding risk may be the riskiest strategy, especially among micro-businesses affected by the business cycle and changes in market dynamics.
· The motivations for starting a business seemed to drive the women business owners’ planning as well as their goals for growth.
· The women entrepreneurs in the study were mostly motivated by independence, flexibility, and the balance between work and family, rather than wealth creation. This reflects a cultural context where gender norms influence life roles and responsibilities.
· The study participants viewed success as a reflection of their personal and professional lives. They placed a high value on finding the right balance between success in business and other areas of their lives.
The National Women’s Business Council is a non-partisan federal advisory council providing independent advice to the President, Congress, and the U.S. Small Business Administration on economic issues of importance to women business owners. The council commissioned the research to better understand what influences or prevents the growth of women-owned businesses.
The research adds to the base of information as the Women’s Business Council seeks to promote the growth of women-owned businesses, said Council Chair Carla Harris. “The growth and development of women-owned businesses is an integral part of growing the national economy.”
To see the council’s press release, visit www.nwbc.com/news.
PPA is a Lansing, Michigan-based research, evaluation, and strategic consultation firm with extensive experience in workforce development and business growth. Among its previous work, PPA designed the economic gardening blueprint for the Small Business Association of Michigan and created a research-based guide to help women explore “green” careers for the U.S. Department of Labor, Women’s Bureau.
For more information about PPA, visit www.publicpolicy.com.
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