What Business Women Want - Report highlights economic concerns

Women Impacting Public Policy (www.wipp.org) a national bi-partisan public policy organization with over 1 million woman business owners and representing 71 organizations, today released their 2013 survey "What Business Women Want." The annual national survey conducted in April 2013 identifies key economic issues affecting WIPP's membership and provides guidance on policy issues relative to their businesses.

"Our annual survey of WIPP members provides insights into the current economic environment and the issues that should be addressed by Congress and the Administration," said Barbara Kasoff, WIPP President. "The top seven issues ranked by survey participants are:  the economy, healthcare, procurement, access to capital, energy, telecommunications and export and trade."

Three-quarters of the businesses interviewed assigned the highest possible importance rating to the economy, making it the single most important category investigated.

Employee headcount per company is up, according to respondents, to an average of 20 full time and 10 part time employees with 64% expecting to increase the size of their company in 2013.

Highlights from survey include:

  • 29% of businesses are currently certified Women Owned Small Businesses and Economically Disadvantaged Women Owned Small Business.
  • Government regulations are seen to have significant impact on 88% of the companies interviewed.  
  • Tax code revisions treating business deductions and credits equally regardless of legal structure are now supported by over half of the respondents, consistent with 2012 results.
  • 60% report they were successful in seeking funding after an average of two attempts and only 32% of minority owned companies successfully obtained capital.
  • Companies offering health insurance have rebounded from a low of 48% in 2012 to 58% in 2013.
  • 94% of companies with revenues above $5 million offer health coverage.
  • Tax credits for providing employee health insurance are not well understood and one-third feel they need more information.
  • Exporting represents a huge opportunity for growth. Fewer than 18% currently export a product or a service to another country. However, more than 29% have considered or will consider exporting as an additional part of their company goal. 
  • 33% are very interested in WIPP's new EXPORTNOW program. Concern over fuel prices as an impediment to business growth rose from 2012.
  • Women business owners are very engaged with new developments in technology, with 90% reporting that they try to stay abreast of innovations that could be incorporated into their companies.