Late in 2015 and without much fanfare, the U.S. Census Bureau released its 2012 Survey of Business Owners.
The survey is taken every five years and polls more than 1.75 million enterprises, gathering, compiling and releasing the results in a process spanning several years. The survey is the only regularly-collected source of economic and demographic characteristics on business owners in the U.S.
The results offer a wealth of insight into business ownership, delving into everything from business owners’ demographics to profitability and industry sector. We hope to explore it in further detail in the future, but for now, we focused on the group of people who make up 51 percent of our country’s population: women.
How well are Kansas City women entrepreneurs actually doing in comparison to their male counterparts? And how does Kansas City stack up against other cities and the national average?
In addition to the percentage of women- versus men-owned firms, we looked at the average sales per firm and the number of sole proprietorships versus firms that have scaled to hire employees. We ended up splitting the latter into two sections: a direct comparison between the number of women- and men-owned firms with employees, and the percentage of firms that were sole proprietorships versus firms with employees.
For our purposes, we excluded firms that were equally owned by women and men — making the data a wash — and publicly-held firms owned by shareholders.