The Success of Women-Owned Middle Market Firms


A recent report from American Express and Dun & Bradstreet, Middle Market Power Index: The Growing Economic Clout of Diverse Middle Market Firms, reveals that women- and minority-owned middle market businesses are growing at a faster pace than average commercially-active businesses.

This is the third report in the Middle Market Power Index series. The first addressed the “characteristics and economic impact of middle market firms and how they have fared in the years since the 2007-08 recession,” the second concentrated on “the extent to which middle market firms in the U.S.—in comparison with smaller and larger enterprises—are engaged in exporting their products and/or services, and which middle market firms are most likely to be doing so.”

This installment “investigates growing ethnic and gender diversity in the ownership of middle market enterprises, and how these firms differ from all middle market companies by size, industry sector and age.”

American mid-sized businesses grew by 4.1 percent from 2008 to 2014, while women-owned middle market firms increased by 23.6 percent and minority-owned businesses by 22.1 percent during this six-year span. Middle market enterprises are companies with revenues between $10 million and $1 billion.

Key Report Findings

  • Of the 136,603 middle market firms in the U.S., 6 percent are women-owned and 5 percent are minority-owned
  • Middle market revenue fell by 2.2 percent between 2008 and 2014, while revenue for women-owned companies grew by 22.7 percent and for minority-owned businesses by 19.3 percent
  • Employment for middle market firms increased by 4.4 percent; for women-owned companies it grew 37.8 percent and for minority-owned businesses by 38.7 percent
  • While women-owned companies in the middle market comprise only .7 percent of all women-owned businesses in the U.S., they account for 23 percent of employment by all women-owned companies
  • While minority-owned companies in the middle market make up 1.6 percent of all minority-owned businesses in the U.S., they employ 34 percent of the workforce by all minority-owned businesses

These middle market companies display an incredible potential for growth. As the economy and business opportunities improve these firms will only be strengthened as will be their contributions to the U.S. economy.

To read the report in full, please click here.

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