Which Types of Businesses are Women Most Likely to Own?

By Special Guest
Jonathan Brown
October 26, 2018


Women are slowly taking a bigger slice of the business ownership pie. But what sorts of businesses are women owning, exactly? While it’s a sure bet you can find examples of women running all sorts of different types of companies, but at the end of the day, there are certain industries which seem to draw a disproportionate amount of female entrepreneurs.

According to a recent survey conducted by Guidant Financial, the top five industries women start businesses in are:


With a growing number of women becoming doctors and other highly trained medical professionals, it’s only natural a high volume of women-owned businesses would be in the health industry. This includes those who run their own practice, such as a dentist or neurologist specialist, as well as those who work as consultants. Some do both.


Despite the ever-present threat from Wal-Mart and Amazon, boutique retailers still manage to grab enough of the market to stay in business. Whether it’s online, brick & mortar, or both, many women seek to experience retail from the business side after spending years on the consumer end.

Business Services

This industry includes things like IT, consultancy, and shipping - basically anything which serves to support a business but does not itself create a product. Female professionals across multiple types of businesses will often segue into business services at some point in order to utilize their experience.

Food & Restaurants

Bakeries, food trucks, and old-fashioned sit-down restaurants are just some of the examples which fall into this category. The food and restaurant sector is a place where women have had a notable presence for quite a while, but only recently have women been as likely to be the ones keeping the back office in operation as they are taking care of kitchen duties and serving guests.

Cleaning & Maintenance

Another industry in which women have traditionally played a significant role is in cleaning services. This ranges from house cleaning to custodial duties in office buildings. However, whereas women have historically been employees in this industry, more and more women today are deciding to go into the cleaning business for themselves. Furthermore, with the number of women enrolled in trade schools and learning hands-on mechanical skills, women are increasingly getting into maintenance services such as auto repair and plumbing.

What draws women to these particular industries? It may have something to do with the innate desire to care and provide for others. But more likely than not, it’s simply because more and more women are eager to get their feet wet in highly skilled professions. These career paths almost always present an opportunity to start a business, and many women opt to seize that chance.

As mentioned earlier, virtually every type of industry is sure to have at least one instance of business being successfully run by a woman. With this in mind, it will be interesting to see which industries attract the most women in ten years time. Whatever the future holds, women are sure to play an ever-growing part in the start and success of businesses around the world.

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