5 Industries Where Women-Owned Businesses Survive Longer


Depending on the industry, female-owned businesses have a greater chance of long-term success, new research suggests. A Cornell University study found that despite previous studies arguing the opposite, female ownership is the key to surviving over the long haul for many businesses.

"We find that female-owned businesses consistently out-survive male-owned businesses in many industries and areas," said Michele Williams, one of the study's authors and an assistant professor of organizational behavior in Cornell's Industrial and Labor Relations School.

Williams said the study contributes to the debate about gender and business ownership by going beyond typical questions asked by researchers and policymakers. [How to Start a Business: Step-by-Step]

"We explore the often-ignored third possibility – that female-owned businesses systematically out-survive male-owned businesses in specific industrial sectors and regions," she said.

Researchers found that many of the largest industries in which survival rates of female-owned businesses outpaced those owned by men were related to four broad sectors: educational services and dance studios, clothing, gift giving and alcohol sales and service.

"One of our more surprising findings was that eating establishments that serve alcohol as well as drinking establishments survive longer under female ownership," said Arturs Kalnins, one of the study's authors and an associate professor of strategy at Cornell's School of Hotel Administration. "This goes against some stereotypes that restaurants and pubs are male-dominated businesses."

The study revealed that the size of a city also plays a role in survival rates of female-owned businesses. In cities with populations of more than 500,000, female-owned businesses lasted longer, while male-owned businesses survived longer elsewhere.

Kalnins said that for 25 years, economywide aggregate studies have not distinguished between different types of industries.

"These studies often show that male-owned businesses survive longer," Kalnins said. "New kinds of studies will show that that is only true in certain industries."

The study, "When do female-owned businesses out-survive male-owned businesses? A disaggregated approach by industry and geography,"will be published this year in the Journal of Business Venturing.

Originally published on Business News Daily.