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Women Biz Owners Scour the Net for Opportunities

Women-owned businesses are just as likely to be online for business as are men-owned firms, but women entrepreneurs are more likely than men entrepreneurs to find the Internet beneficial for opening up a wider range of business opportunities and allowing more time flexibility, according to a new study from Center for Women’s Business Research (founded as the National Foundation for Women Business Owners), which was underwritten by Wells Fargo Bank.

Also, almost one-quarter of entrepreneurs (18 percent of women business owners and 24 percent of men business owners) do at least some of their business banking online.

“However, women entrepreneurs who bank online are more likely than men entrepreneurs to visit their financial institutions’ website (55 percent of women business owners compared to 37 percent of men business owners),” said Colleen Anderson, executive vice president and head of California Business Banking for Wells Fargo Bank. “This tells us that the savvy woman business owner wants full customer service online, which includes offering well-organized and comprehensive financial and account information.”

Women and men entrepreneurs are equally as likely to be engaged in using the Internet for e-commerce. Fully three-quarters of women and men business owners who use the Internet (75 percent and 74 percent respectively) purchase business goods and services online. Further, half the women and men entrepreneurs who use the Internet (52 percent and 51 percent respectively) are now selling their products and services online.

Despite the increasing intensity of Internet use among most U.S. businesses, 39 percent of women-owned firms and 45 percent of men-owned firms nationally are not using the Internet for business. These “off-line” firms are older than firms that use the Internet and smaller in size. The owners tend to be older and less educated than the owners of the firms that are online.

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