Women-owned businesses are more profitable – Survey


For once, there is something about women-owned businesses to cheer about, at least according to the SME Survey 2014, the annual study of factors behind the success of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa.

A small business owned by a woman has a better chance of being profitable than one run by a man, indicate the study’s findings.

If you want to make less profit run your business with your spouse or a partner of the opposite gender, is the study’s moral. It found that those companies owned by couples or a mix of genders are substantially less likely to be profitable than those operated by either male or female-owners.

Explaining this trend, Arthur Goldstuck, SME Survey principal researcher and MD of World Wide Worx, says: “This shows that there are additional challenges which come with owning a business together with your spouse or partner, or where joint owners have different personal agendas or management styles.”

Before one get carried away with the results as a sign of the advance that women have made in business, cautions Arthur Goldstuck, SME Survey principal researcher and MD of World Wide Worx: “While this result may seem like a big win for women, it comes with an immediate qualifier: the level of female ownership is exceptionally low.”

The breakdown of the results were:

Male owned SMEs:

• 20% are strongly profitable
• 49% are just profitable

Jointly owned SMEs:

• 16% are strongly profitable
• 37% are just profitable

The female owned SMEs

• 15% are strongly profitable
• 63% just profitable

This equates to 78% of women-owned businesses being profitable, well ahead of the 70% for men.

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