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Nine out of 10 women small business owners (89%) are optimistic about their company's economic outlook this year, up 8 percentage points from 2013, according to a recent report from the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and

Most women small business owners (87%) are also optimistic about the overall economic outlook for 2014, up 12 percentage points from 2013.

Below, additional key findings from the report, which was based on data from an online survey of more than 600 woman small business owners based in the United States.

Women Entrepreneurs

  • 92% of respondents predict more women will venture to start their own businesses in 2014.
  • 32% of respondents say they started their own business because they always felt like an entrepreneur, a 10 percentage point increase over 2013.


  • 90% of respondents say the state of the economy is an important factor for their business in 2014, 80% say business tax issues are important, and 71% say the cost/accessibility of healthcare is important.
  • The only two business factors considered important that recorded double-digit increases from 2013 levels were business tax issues (12 percentage point increase) and fuel/other energy costs (10 percentage point increase).

Investment and Growth

  • 69% of respondents plan to invest more in customer service this year, and 62% plan to boost their marketing spend.
  • 85% say using social networks is important for growth, but only 67% are using social networks for their businesses (an 18% gap).
  • Asked what they consider the future of small business marketing, women business owners cite two key channels: social media marketing (7 percentage point increase) and website design and maintenance (5 percentage point increase). All other areas are flat or down from the previous year.

For more findings from the report, check out the infographic below:

About the research: The report was based on data from an online survey of 606 women business owners in the United States. All respondents are women who own, operate, or are engaged in the operations of a small business (78% with annual gross revenues under $1 million).

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji