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Yelp Survey Finds That Women Business Owners Remain Passionate, Innovative Despite Persistent Gender Bias and Pandemic Losses

Ahead of the user-review hub's first-annual Women in Business Summit, it's released data from interviews with more than 1,500 female business owners.


Throughout March, we've been highlighting the successes and struggles of women in business for Women's History Month and International Women's Day. And we haven't been alone. Yelp hosted its first-annual, two-day Women in Business Summit in March—and kicked it off by surveying female-owned businesses, identifying trends about their motivations and funding means. (Entrepreneur is a media partner for the event.)

Klaus Vedfelt | Getty Images

Related: Charlotte Flair's 5 Lessons for Women Who Want to Change the Game

The survey looked at 1,523 business that self-identify as women-owned. The results, as you might expect, underscore some hopeful trends while also illuminating ongoing obstacles. The data reflect that, among those female owners who participated:

  • Pursuing a passion was their top motivator.

  • Nearly two-thirds rely on personal savings for initial funding.

  • More than two-thirds view social media as the most effective business-marketing technique. 

  • More than 43% say businesses performed worse than pre-pandemic expectations, while 36.4% say it performed better.

  • And despite 35.8% having encountered negative perceptions about competency based on gender, they remain prevailingly optimistic about 2021.

Related: 2 in 5 Women Considered Leaving Their Jobs During the Pandemic

The Summit's keynote speaker will be fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff. Additional presenters include Dr. Erinn Tucker, co-founder of DMV Black Restaurant Week, and Opportunity Fund CEO Luz Urrutia. 

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