A scientific opinion poll released today found women small business owners, especially women of color, say their ability to access birth control has impacted their business’ bottom lines. Meanwhile, younger women entrepreneurs say contraceptive access has allowed them to advance their careers and focus on starting and growing their businesses.
The survey, conducted by Lake Research Partners and American Viewpoint on behalf of Small Business Majority, found 65 percent of African-American and 64 percent of Latina small business owners say access to birth control, and the freedom to decide if and when to have children, has impacted their bottom lines as a business owner.
Women of color who own small businesses are also more likely than white women who own small businesses to say contraceptive access impacted their education. While half of white respondents agreed access to birth control allowed them to pursue their education after high school, 74 percent of African Americans and 70 percent of Latinas say the availability of contraceptives helped them pursue higher education.
“Most small business owners’ business finances are tied to their personal finances, which is why access to birth control and reproductive health is so important for women entrepreneurs,” said Vernita Naylor, founder and owner of Jabez Enterprise Group in Oakland, Calif. “As a solo entrepreneur, I don’t have the luxury of handing work off to a co-owner or employees if I need time away from the business. As a result, without access to birth control, I would be forced to decide between my family and investing in my business.”
Age also factored into women’s attitudes toward the importance of birth control in helping them move forward in their careers. Sixty-two percent of younger women business owners (compared to 56 percent of all respondents) agree their ability to access birth control allowed them to advance in their career and start their business. Half of women under 50 say they put off starting a family to focus on their business, while only 15 percent of women over 50 say so. This is especially true for millennials (62 percent) and Gen Xers (58 percent).
“This survey sheds light on the importance of birth control to women entrepreneurs, especially younger entrepreneurs and women of color, who are one of the fastest-growing segments of our economy,” said Small Business Majority National Hispanic Outreach Manager Xiomara Peña. “In fact, there are nearly 2.8 million more firms owned by women of color now than in 2007—a 126 percent increase. Without access to birth control, however, many women would not have been in a position to launch or grow their thriving enterprises.”
The survey reflects interviews of 507 women small business owners with 1-99 employees, including oversamples of African-American and Latina women small business owners. The randomly selected sample was split along political party lines with 41 percent conservative, 39 percent liberal and 11 percent pure independent. It has a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percent.
For the full poll report, please visit:http://smallbusinessmajority.org/our-research/healthcare/access-reproductive-health-underpins-women-entrepreneurs-economic-success