Small businesses generally represented 99.9 percent of the 25.8 million employer and nonemployer businesses in the United States in 2005. These businesses, officially defined as an independent business having fewer than 500 employees, also accounted for 99.7 percent of employer businesses and nearly half of the total U.S. private payroll and generated 60–80 percent of net new jobs annually over the last decade. In their ownership of 6.5 million businesses in 2002, women business owners generated nearly $1 trillion in revenues, accounted for nearly $200 billion in payroll, and employed as many as 7.1 million workers.1 Figures also suggest that their numbers are growing at a faster rate than primarily men-owned businesses. Thus, the survival and performance of women-owned small businesses is of concern to policy makers and researchers.
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