Women Business Owners Optimistic About the Economy

A new survey reveals 47 percent of women business owners feel the economy will improve in the next six months, with many reporting their first revenue increase in two years.

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Almost half of women business owners are optimistic the economy will improve in the next six months.Optimism among women business owners is up, according to the Key4Women Confidence Index, which is conducted twice a year by the Center for Women's Business Research.

According to the new survey, within the next six months, 47 percent of women business owners believed the economy would improve (up from 33 percent), 43 percent thought it would stay the same (down from 50 percent) and only 10 percent thought it would worsen (down from 17 percent).

Based on this positive outlook, 42 percent of women entrepreneurs said they plan on hiring within the next year, even though only 14 percent actually added employees in the first quarter of 2011.

Women business owners have dedicated more funds to three key business aspects in the past year: Fifty-seven percent increased funding for marketing and advertising, 55 percent created new product and services, and 37 percent invested in new technology.

Women business owners also cited their top business concerns, with 31 percent naming poor sales, 17 percent worried about competition from larger businesses and 10 percent citing taxes. Among other worries were high energy costs, health care coverage and cash flow issues.

Although many are concerned about cash flow, a surprising 54 percent of owners said they were not seeking loans. Of those who did seek loans, 31 percent claimed they received "all, most or some" of the financing they requested, while 16 percent received none.

For the first time since the inaugural survey was conducted in 2009, both revenues and net earnings for women-run businesses increased compared to the previous quarter.

Tags: Center for Womens Business Research, Key4Women Confidence Index, News, women business owners hiring, women business owners money, women business owners optimism

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