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Women Biz Owners Influenced by
Environmental Friendliness

A strong majority of women business owners are influenced by environmental considerations when making consumer purchasing decisions, according to research by Center for Women's Business Research. The research brief reveals that three quarters (76 percent) of women business owners feel that the environmental friendliness of a product is either a moderate or major influence on their purchase decisions. Similarly, 77 percent of working women said that environmental friendliness is either a major or moderate influence.

Entitled "Environmental Consumerism Among Women Business Owners," the brief is based on previous Center research and explores several aspects of how the "environmental friendliness" of products and services influences purchasing decisions by women business owners.

"Although some businesses are questioning the impact of using a 'green' marketing approach in today's society, women business owners are citing environmental friendliness as one of the top three factors in making consumer purchasing decisions," said Dr. Myra Hart, Chair, Center for Women's Business Research. "In fact, it ranks just below quality (98 percent) and price (85 percent) as an influence on purchasing decisions. Women business owners are more likely to cite environmental friendliness as a major or moderate influence (76 percent) than they are to point to advertising (57 percent), a company's social responsibility (55 percent), or coupons (33 percent)."

Women entrepreneurs' concern for environmental friendliness in products and services also appears to be linked to how long they have owned their firms. Women business owners who have started or acquired their firms within the past five years are the most likely to say that environmental friendliness has either a moderate or major impact on their purchasing decisions (85 percent). In comparison, only 64 percent of the women who have owned their own firms for 20 years or more indicate the same impact.

The brief also demonstrates the influence of environmental considerations on women business owners' philanthropic behavior. Although the sample of women business owners is very small in this analysis, 9 percent of women business owners provide financial support to environmental organizations, placing the environment among the top ten causes that women business owners support. Environmental causes rank ninth, behind religious, youth-related, local community service, education, health, social/human services, woman-related, and arts organizations.

(Source: Center for Women Business Research)

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