According to the newly released Women Presidents’ Organization 2013 Economic Impact Survey, nearly two-thirds of women-owned and led businesses saw positive growth during the first half of 2013, though there continue to be concerns about the health of the current economy. Half of Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) members in the non-profit advisory group for owners of multi-million dollar companies agreed that the economy is the biggest threat to bottom-line growth. About 34 percent expressed this concern last year.
The survey found that 69 percent of WPO members are optimistic regarding financial performance in 2013 compared to 2012. One-third of WPO members said competition is a primary concern and another one-third mentioned HR (especially hiring and retaining top talent) as a factor impacting revenue. Even so, 50 percent of businesses owned and led by women have hired employees and 63 percent have increased salaries so far in 2013.
An overwhelming majority (88 percent) of women-led companies provide health insurance, compared to the national average of 52 percent, which has been falling since 2000. Further, over 75 percent of WPO members earn at least a six figure income while 28 percent received an increase in salary this year.
“Women face plenty of challenges in starting and running businesses, but our WPO members are those women who have gone above and beyond and reached the pinnacle of success to lead multi-million dollar companies,” said Dr. Marsha Firestone, Ph.D., president and founder of the WPO. “It’s reassuring to see that despite economic conditions and decreased optimism, these women are still hiring, providing salary increases, offering health insurance and taking care of their employees in the face of uncertainty. It’s an example that all business leaders should follow.”