Most women small business owners say men have it easier than them

4 min readOct 9, 2020


According to a study commissioned by Groupon and conducted by OnePoll for October’s National Women’s Small Business Month, nearly 75% of women-owned small businesses said they’ve been negatively impacted by the pandemic. (Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash)

Fifty-four percent of women-owned businesses feared they’d have to permanently shut their doors because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new research.

Conducted for October’s National Women’s Small Business Month, the survey also revealed nearly 75% of women-owned small businesses said they’ve been negatively impacted by the pandemic.

The poll of 522 female small business owners across the 15 most populous states found one-quarter believe it will take more than a year for their business to get back to normal.

The study, commissioned by Groupon and conducted by OnePoll, aimed to understand how women small business owners are meeting the challenges COVID-19 presents.

More than that, it delved into the unique obstacles they face as women entrepreneurs, the secrets to their successes and important issues women want to see addressed by the 2020 presidential candidates.

Respondents were twice as likely to say that lockdown restrictions implemented to stop the spread of the virus disproportionately affected women- and minority-owned businesses — as opposed to saying they impacted all businesses equally.

Four in 10 of those surveyed who applied for a Paycheck Protection Program loan said they were rejected.

A fifth said they either plan to or already needed to lay off employees — and less than 10% said they plan to hire more people in the next year.

“Every one of us has a role to play when it comes to investing in the success of small businesses. It’s certainly great to have an entire month and campaign dedicated to the promotion and growth of women-owned businesses, but it’s also very important that we continue to support them all year long,” said Groupon CFO Melissa Thomas.

“This year, Women’s Small Business Month comes at a time when many women-owned businesses are facing even greater challenges than usual due to the pandemic and they need our help now more than ever.”

The survey also revealed which states have been the most supportive toward women-owned small businesses during the pandemic.

Of the states surveyed, results revealed Massachusetts ranked highest for doing the most to help women-owned businesses recover from the impact of COVID-19.

New York, Michigan, Ohio and North Carolina rounded out the top five.

Unfortunately, the results underscored some of the difficulties women face when starting their own businesses.

Over half (55%) of female small business owners surveyed said men have an easier time starting their own businesses — and more than half said they’re held to a much higher standard than their male counterparts.

Fifty-four percent said they sometimes find it difficult to balance running a business with family life.

Women small business owners said putting in hard work, taking pride in the quality of their product or service, building a personal network, having an innovative business idea and being a woman in business were the top five keys to their success.

Respondents said it took an average of two and a half years for their businesses to become successful — and they’re doing what they can to help other women reach the same level of success.

Three in five said they go out of their way to mentor other female entrepreneurs.

When it comes to making it easy for women entrepreneurs to start their own business, Florida led all states.

The Sunshine State’s no personal state income tax and warm climate proved to be big drawls. Following Florida in making it easy for women to start their own business were New York, Colorado and Texas.

Sixty-seven percent of women business owners surveyed said they’re paying close attention to the upcoming 2020 presidential election.

When asked to identify their preferred candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden had the support of 47% of respondents, compared to 34% who indicated support for President Donald Trump.

The top five issues respondents was to see addressed by the presidential candidates — chosen from a pre-selected list — were the economy (75%), health care (54%), gender equality (43%), tax credits and/or cuts (42%) and social justice (36%).

National Women’s Small Business Month was created by the Small Business Administration to celebrate the contributions of women-owned businesses.

According to the American Express 2019 annual State of Women-owned Businesses Report, there are nearly 13 million women-owned businesses in the United States — supporting over 9 million jobs and generating $1.9 trillion in revenue.

Top 5 Most Supportive States For Female Business Owners During The COVID-19 Pandemic
1. Massachusetts
2. New York
3. Michigan
4. Ohio
5. North Carolina

Top 5 States Where It’s the Easiest for Women to Open Their Own Business
1. Florida
2. New York
3. Colorado
4. California
5. Texas

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