WOMEN
10/27/2014 09:53 am ET

The Most Common Reason American Women Start Their Own Businesses

Alistair Berg via Getty Images

By: Brittney Helmrich Business News Daily Staff Writer
Published: 10/27/2014 05:44 AM EDT on BusinessNewsDaily

Work-life balance is incredibly important to female entrepreneurs in the United States.

According to a new survey by PayPal, 55 percent of American women entrepreneurs said they started or want to start their own business to achieve work-life balance.

The study, which polled current and aspiring female entrepreneurs in the United States, China, France and Mexico, found that women in different countries have different motivators. In China, for example, 48 percent of respondents said they wanted to start their own businesses in order to control their own futures. In France (61 percent) and Mexico (66 percent), women said they pursued entrepreneurship to have pride in themselves. [Male vs. Female Entrepreneurs: How Are They Different? ]

Overall, 47 percent of women named passion as their leading motivation. And many women named independence as one of their attributes; 64 percent of American women, 62 percent of Mexican women and 47 percent of Chinese women identified themselves this way.

Business interests differed from country to country, too. These were the most common businesses among women surveyed:

  • United States: Consulting
  • China & Mexico: Apparel and accessories
  • France: Health and beauty, handmade and artisan crafts

And most women around the world are optimistic about starting their own businesses. Fifty percent of the 1,200 women polled said they saw few barriers to their future business success, describing themselves as optimistic.

Still, many aspiring female entrepreneurs in the United States reported not feeling ready to start their businesses yet; only 13 percent said they felt adequately prepared. By contrast, of the aspiring female entrepreneurs in Mexico, 59 percent said they felt prepared, and 68 percent said they were ready to start their businesses within a year.

Despite feeling unprepared, female entrepreneurs in the United States are poised for success. Currently there are more than 7 million women-owned businesses in the country, and they have an economic impact of $3 trillion, according to the study.

Originally published on Business News Daily.

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