Women As A Source of Untapped Capital
I want you to take a few minutes to ponder not just the untapped high growth opportunities for women-led businesses, but also the untapped opportunities for women as the investors in these companies. This is the largest and fastest growing source of untapped capital the world has ever seen.
Much has changed, and been changed, by today’s generation of women. In the United States, women account for 85% of all consumer purchases, including everything from automobiles to health care. They control an estimated 91% of new home purchases, 66% of personal computer purchases, 92% of vacation planning, 89% of bank accounts, and 93% of food choices. Women exercise decision-making control over $11.2 trillion. This represents roughly 39% of America’s $28.6 trillion investable assets.
Over 60% of high-net-worth women have earned their own fortunes, and women represent more than 40% of all Americans with gross investable assets above $600,000. One telling example is the most visited of all luxury retailers — Nordstrom. The store’s average female customer has an income of nearly $300,000 and a net worth of $3 million. Needless to say, the company continues to experience healthy revenue growth. The number of wealthy women in the U.S. is growing twice as fast as the number of wealthy men. There are more and more women breadwinners across every level of family income. Today one in three married women outearns her husband.
Some estimate that women will control two-thirds of the consumer wealth in the U.S. over the next decade and be the beneficiaries of the largest transference of wealth in our country’s history. A recent Booz Allen study dubbed women “The Third Billion,”inferring that they are the next global economy.
A recent Booz Allen study dubbed women “The Third Billion,” inferring that they are the next global economy.
Let’s review the facts at hand. Women don’t just control the purse; they are filling it. Having women understand this is empowering in itself. For perhaps the first time ever, we are seeing the majority of both the market purchasing power and the nation’s investment dollars in the hands of women. And research tells us that, from an investment perspective, it makes a lot of sense to invest those dollars in companies with a larger percentage of women in leadership as it leads to higher returns and capital-efficiency.
Corporate America has a long way to go in diversifying its leadership. But there is an opportunity to increase the number of women in leadership positions in the startup world here and now. Women have the opportunity to solve gender inequity in the workplace by investing in more women-led businesses. We have the power to do so, we just need to activate. If we aren’t motivated to do it for “The Cause,” then we should certainly be motivated to do it because it makes good business sense.
Women need to seek out these opportunities and make investments that are aligned to their values, supporting the products and services they want to see in the market while positioning their investments to be successful. Leveraging women’s wealth to drive women-led businesses is not only intriguing, it is necessary to grow our economy, excel the pace and quality of innovation today, and increase our true wealth.
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