The results of the survey of
women business owners conducted by National City Corporation
were announced today. Women entrepreneurs have a 50% or greater
stake in nearly half (48%) of all privately-held businesses in
the United States and they generate approximately $2.3 trillion
in sales and employ 19.1 million people nationwide, according to
Center for Women's Business Research. Despite this economic
clout, the survey results show that, on average, women-owned
businesses remain an underserved segment and are less likely to
take advantage of the credit that's available to them. National
City is a corporate partner with the Center for Women's Business
Research, which assisted in the development of the
This survey was launched in April and was directed to mostly
non-customers of National City Corporation. It was conducted in
Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and Pennsylvania.
The purpose was to identify the trends affecting women business
owners in order to provide the information and financial support
they readily need to succeed.
According to Sharon Hadary, executive director of the Center
for Women's Business Research, "The survey findings are
consistent with the Center's research. Access to capital for
women business owners is one of the key factors in the continued
growth and expansion of women-owned enterprises."
Almost 41 percent of the women business owner respondents
said they do not have credit services with any bank or financial
institution. Of this group, one out of three (33 percent)
attribute their lack of credit to being a start up business,
which was by far the top selection of several choices provided.
The other top reasons women business owners do not pursue
financing are a belief that they would not qualify for credit
(25.9 percent) and the perception that the credit process is too
difficult or cumbersome (20.4 percent).
Another significant finding to emerge from the National City
survey is that the frequency of contact by their financial
institution is very important to women entrepreneurs. More than
half of the women surveyed said they prefer that their bank
contact them at least twice a year. The women surveyed want to
know about the new products and services that meet their
business needs. They also want to build a relationship with
their financial institution and have frequent contact, whether
it is in person, by phone, e-mail or regular mail.
"We cannot emphasize enough the significance of women
business owners," said Peter Raskind, executive vice president,
consumer and small business financial services for National City
Corporation, which lent almost $550 million to women small
business owners in 2003. "Women-owned businesses are a critical
component of the economy, not only in terms of their influence,
but also in terms of their economic impact. As an industry, we
must communicate to this market all available financing options
to start and grow a small business."
Linda Stevenson, vice president, director of National City's
Women Business Owner Initiatives, said, "The financial services
industry in the U.S. must continue to aggressively assist women
entrepreneurs. The support needs to include enhanced education,
increased access to capital, and a concerted effort toward
networking and relationship building -- we need to work harder
at encouraging women business owners to apply for credit instead
of them thinking they are not worthy of it. The credit process
is simpler than they realize."
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