Sharon Miller: August 31, 2016

Bank of America Survey Finds Women Small Business Owners More Optimistic

Compared to Men on Revenue and Growth Outlook

Women Small Business Owners Divided on Limits of the Glass Ceiling



Managing Director

Head of Small Business

Bank of America


Women small business owners are feeling more optimistic about annual revenue and growth expectations than their male counterparts, according to the inaugural Bank of America Women Business Owner Spotlight released this month: a study based on a survey of 1,000 small business owners across the country, focusing on the aspirations and pain points of women business owners.

Topics Bank of America Executive Sharon Miller is available to discuss include:

·         Perspectives on the Glass Ceiling

·         Varying Levels of Optimism: Women Small Business Owners vs. Men

·         What Motivates Women Small Business Owners

·         Women Entrepreneurs’ Feelings of Empowerment & Success

·         Economic Concerns Impacting Women Small Business Owners

Bank of America Women Business Owner Spotlight Findings:

·         More women small business owners than men are optimistic about their annual revenue increasing (54% of women vs. 48% of men), and more women than men plan to grow their businesses over the next five years (60% of women vs. 52% of men).

o    From 2015 to 2016, the number of male small business owners expressing optimism about revenue and growth declined significantly (18 percentage points and 16 percentage points, respectively), while women entrepreneurs remained steady in both areas (declining by 3 percentage points or less year over year).

·         Women small business owners say the glass ceiling exists, but are split on whether it limits their opportunities.

o    77% of women and 56% of men surveyed believe the glass ceiling exists for some women and minorities.

o    54% of female small business owners don’t feel impacted by the glass ceiling.

o    46% of women entrepreneurs say they have felt limited by it at some point in their careers.

·         A majority of women business owners feel that they have the same access to key resources as men do, but some women business owners still see disparities in certain areas.

o    79% believe they have the same access as their male counterparts to clients and 75% say they have the same access to outside resources.

o    28% feel they do not have the same access to capital as men and 25% say they don’t have the same access to new business.

·         Women entrepreneurs feel successful and empowered.

o    When asked how being a small business owner made them feel, the most popular responses among women small business owners included successful (54%), empowered (49%) and content (35%).

o    When asked why they started their own business, 51% of women said it was because they wanted to be their own boss. Only 8% said it was because they were not happy in their current job.

More About Bank of America Executive Sharon Miller:

Sharon Miller is the Head of Small Business at Bank of America. Her team is responsible for delivering business and personal financial solutions to the company’s 3 million small business owners and entrepreneurs. Miller’s team of more than 2,000 associates delivers advice and guidance on cash management, business financing, home lending, investments and retirement. Prior to this role, Miller was Central Division Executive for Financial Center Sales and Merrill Edge® at Bank of America. In this role, she led financial center teams working in nearly 900 locations across 11 states, providing a full range of financial products, services and expertise to over 8 million Bank of America households. Miller joined Bank of America in 1996. She started her career as a Financial Advisor in Houston, Texas. She has held various leadership positions in the company, including National Sales Executive for Preferred Banking and Merrill Edge®, Complex Director for Merrill Lynch in Texas, Regional Executive for the Premier Banking and Investment business, and Market Executive for Nevada. Miller has been actively involved in the Bank of America community throughout her career.  She has been an active member of Bank of America’s Diversity Council, has served on Merrill Lynch’s Director Advisory Council to Management and has held numerous market leadership roles across the country. Miller has held leadership positions in United Way, March of Dimes and Communities in Schools.

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