Women Account for One-Quarter of New Business Startups, Guidant Financial Survey Finds

Seattle, Wash. - Women accounted for about one-quarter (22 percent) of all new business startups in the past year, according to a recent survey conducted by Guidant Financial, a leader in small business and franchise financing and the premier provider of rollovers as business start-ups (ROBS). Based on survey data from approx. 1,000 small business owners, Guidant Financial developed a more complete picture of its client base, which have embarked on new careers as entrepreneurs. Survey results also found that 84 percent of new small business owners are between the ages of 40 and 60. In addition, the survey indicated that 89 percent had worked a minimum of 10 years in corporate America, while 81 percent achieved a position in middle management or higher.

"Women continue to remain a very entrepreneurial group, despite the current adverse economic environment. Our data reflects the national findings that women, who comprise about one-quarter of our clients, still have the strong desire to become financially independent by starting their own businesses or opening their own franchises," according to David Nilssen, who co-founded Guidant Financial in 2003 with Jeremy Ames.

After spending 22 years in corporate America, Linda Jamerson of Chicago, Ill. decided it was time to purchase her own business and work for herself. "When I found Guidant I quickly became excited, I realized that by rolling-over my retirement funds to purchase a medium-sized established business I could improve my chances of success, said Jamerson. "Guidant's iFinance system allowed me to purchase my Aluminum Case manufacturing business without taking on debt. I truly believe this was the best way I could have purchased my business."

According to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau Survey of Business Owners (2007), women owned 7.8 million nonfarm U.S. businesses operating in the 50 states and the District of Columbia in 2007, an increase of 20 percent from 2002. These women-owned firms accounted for 29 percent of all nonfarm businesses in the United States. Women-owned firms employed 7.6 million persons (6 percent of total employment) and generated $1.2 trillion in receipts (4 percent of all receipts).

In terms of the types of businesses women owned, the Census data found in 2007 that, 32 percent of women-owned U.S. firms operated in the repair, maintenance, personal, and laundry services and the health care and social assistance sectors. Women-owned U.S. firms accounted for 45 percent of all U.S. businesses in these sectors. Wholesale trade and retail trade accounted for 36 percent of women-owned business revenue. By states, California had the highest number of women-owned businesses (one million), followed by Texas (610,000), and then followed by New York (594,000).

Women Remain a Strong Element of Business Formation

Guidant allows individuals to access the assets in their retirement accounts through a carefully-designed process. This allows women, baby boomers and others interested in starting their own businesses, to use their 401(k) or other retirement funds to invest in a variety of opportunities, including the purchase of a business or franchise.

Guidant Financial's recent survey also found that:
 64 percent have a college degree or vocational training. Of these, 30 percent have an MBA, doctorate or JD;
 25 percent have a background in information technology or finance;
 89 percent worked a minimum of 10 years in corporate America;
 81 percent achieved a position in middle management or higher;
 41 percent cited that "being in control of their own destiny" was the main motivation for going into business, while 24 percent said they were "done" with corporate America.

Other data from the Center for Women's Business Research found that women-owned firms (businesses that were owned 50 percent or more by women) account for 40 percent of all privately-held firms. Women owned 10.1 million firms, and employed over 13 million people. In 2008, these firms generated over $1.9 trillion in sales.

The Center also noted that 75 percent of all women-owned businesses are majority owned by women, for a total of 7.2 million firms. These firms posted $1.1 trillion in sales in 2008 through 2009. Women-of-Color owned almost 2 million firms.

About Guidant Financial
Guidant Financial helps people create the life they want through small business ownership. They are the premier provider of rollovers as business start-ups (ROBS). Guidant's services allow aspiring entrepreneurs the freedom to invest their existing IRA or 401(k) funds into a small business or franchise without taking a taxable distribution or getting a loan, in addition to offering traditional funding options such as SBA loans and unsecured credit. . For more information on Small Business Financing, visit Guidant online at http://www.guidantfinancial.com, http://www.twitter.com/guidant or http://www.Facebook.com/GuidantFinancial.

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