childcare for women entrepreneurs
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57 Percent of Women Entrepreneurs Believe They Would Be More Successful with Better Childcare

United WE announced a new nationwide study they commissioned at the National Association of Women Business Owners Days in Washington D.C. Sixty-two percent of women entrepreneurs indicate childcare options fail to meet their needs and negatively impact their business. This study included 750 women entrepreneurs with children under age 6. Fifty-seven percent state that their business could be more successful if they had better childcare options.

“For years, women entrepreneurs have been taking a giant step forward to start their own businesses because they wanted more flexible childcare support,” says Wendy Doyle, President & CEO of United WE, a nonpartisan organization with a mission to advance all women’s economic and civic leadership. “What we’re learning is that women entrepreneurs’ growth is being held back by inadequate childcare options. This is partially driven by critical needs within the childcare workforce itself.”

Childcare for women entrepreneurs is a business function

Women pack a powerful economic punch in driving the U.S. economy. According to a 2024 Wells Fargo report, women-owned businesses continue to positively impact the economy. These businesses represent more than 14 million of all businesses or 39.1 percent. They employ 12.2 million workers and generate $2.7 trillion in revenue.

“Similar to other foundational business functions like accounting, software and internet services, childcare should be considered as a business support function,” says Jen Earle, NAWBO National’s CEO. “Heightened economic growth for women business owners depends on making this shift in thinking about childcare.”

Of the women surveyed, 66 percent launched their businesses to gain greater flexibility in childcare. Women entrepreneurs with household incomes under $100,000 were significantly more likely than those from higher-income households to say that the flexibility provided by entrepreneurship was a very important reason for their decision to launch their businesses.

Flexible childcare for women entrepreneurs

When asked about specific childcare needs, 31 percent said that flexible scheduling in childcare services is their first need. Second (29 percent) is the need for infant and toddler care. The third (27 percent) is care during early morning and late evening hours.

“This data reveals that flexible childcare infrastructure is critical. It would support women entrepreneurs in fueling business growth,” said DeAngela Burns-Wallace, President and CEO, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, who funded the survey. “Women entrepreneurs can achieve increased economic growth with the confidence their children have the best care. They need more flexible options for childcare.”

The nationwide research, conducted by Openfields, is part of the United WE Institute and available at www.united-we.org/2024childcaresurvey.

About United WE

United Women’s Empowerment–United WE–is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance all women’s economic and civic leadership. Since 1991, United WE has overcome systemic barriers to women’s economic development and civic leadership by investing in research, advocacy and policy solutions. We have conducted 30+ meaningful research studies. We have advocated for issues resulting in 57 policy actions and supported more than 200 civic appointments. Our work positively impacts hundreds of thousands of women and families. We make an impact by commissioning transformative research, scaling our fast-growing Appointments Project®, advocating for reforms that honor the legacies of women and contributing to policy solutions that advance affordable childcare, equal pay, paid family leave and occupational licensing reforms. Unite with us. Visit www.united-we.org and connect with @UnitedWeEmpower on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.

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