September 28, 2006 at 08:30 AM EDT
Women Business Owners: Confident and Successful
Wells Fargo Survey Shows Increase in Women Business Owners' Expectations for Cash Flows and Revenues

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Women business owners -- now surpassing 10 million nationwide -- are happy being small business owners and are optimistic about the future of their businesses, according to a special Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index report on women business owners. Ninety-five percent of those surveyed feel they are successful and 86 percent say, if given the opportunity again, they would still become a small business owner.

Women business owners are very confident in their companies' overall future growth prospects, highlighting three key business areas: revenues, cash flow and compensation. Sixty-three percent say their cash flow from last year was somewhat good or very good (20 percent), while 72 percent expect their company's cash flow in the next year to be somewhat good or very good (23 percent). Three in five (60 percent) respondents expect their companies' revenues to increase in the next year while only one in ten (10 percent) expects to see a decrease.

"These results are very encouraging and indicate that women business owners are successful, happy and extremely confident in what they are doing," said Rebecca Macieira-Kaufmann, executive vice president and head of Wells Fargo small business segment. "Women business owners exemplify the American entrepreneurial spirit. Their continued optimism points to both the future of women in business and the overall small business segment."

Women business owners also indicated that they are financially more successful as small business owners than they would have been working for another company in the same field. Three-quarters (76 percent) of survey respondents say they are financially more secure, with 43 percent stating they earn more per hour as a small business owner. The sentiment is equally strong for current and future expectations. Seventy-one percent say their companies current financial situation is very good (26 percent) or somewhat good (45 percent) compared to 80 percent say they expect their financial situation to be very good (34 percent) or somewhat good (46 percent) in the next year.

"Women business owners should feel optimistic about their futures," said Laine Caspi, founder of Parents of Invention based in Los Angeles, California. "I have been a business owner since 2002 and the market growth I have seen in just those four years has been tremendous. I think if this survey is conducted in another two years, the numbers will be even higher."

Since the third quarter of 2003, the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index has surveyed small business owners each quarterly basis on their perception of current conditions and future expectations relating to financial situation, revenues, cash flow, capital spending, number of jobs, and credit availability.

These results are based on a survey of approximately 4,800 women business owners from across the country. Surveys were conducted from September 2004 to May 2006. The companies surveyed are at least 50 percent or more women-owned. The margin of sampling error is + 4 percentage points.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $500 billion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance to more than 23 million customers from more than 6,200 stores and the internet (wellsfargo.com) across North America and elsewhere internationally. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. has the highest possible credit rating, "Aaa," from Moody's Investors Service and the highest credit rating given to a U.S. bank, "AA+," from Standard & Poor's Ratings Services.

Providing financial products and services to more than one million businesses with annual sales up to $20 million in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, Wells Fargo is the #1 lender to small businesses in the United States in total dollar volume according to the most recent CRA data (2004).

The second largest national SBA lender in dollars, Wells Fargo is an SBA Preferred Lender in 30 states and the District of Columbia, and originated 4,165 loans for $579 million in 2005. Its diverse business services programs provide outreach and education to women, African American, Latino, and Asian business owners about financial services. Since 1995, Wells Fargo has loaned more than $32 billion to women and diverse business owners. For more information, please visit us at www.wellsfargo.com/biz .

About the Gallup Organization

For more than 60 years, the Gallup Organization has been a recognized leader in the measurement and analysis of people's attitudes, opinions and behavior. While best known for the Gallup Poll, founded in 1935, Gallup's current activities consist largely of providing marketing and management research, advisory services and education to the world's largest corporations and institutions.

Source: Wells Fargo & Company

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