Female-run businesses lead way Women more likely to adopt technology than men, study finds

Electronic commerce

October 06, 1997|By CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Perhaps to the surprise of one gender and not the other, female entrepreneurs are more actively adopting new technology for business growth than their male counterparts, according to a newly released study.

Among the study's most significant findings is that "the share of women business owners that have established a home page for their business has tripled since last year -- 23 percent now have a home page, compared to 16 percent for men," according to Lois Haber, chairwoman of the National Foundation for Women Business Owners.

Haber, president and chief executive of Delaware Valley Financial Services Inc. in Berwyn, Pa., also pointed out that 17 percent of female business owners say the most important reason for using new technology is to explore new strategies for growth. Ten percent of the male owners cite that reason.

In addition, female business owners appear to be more likely to explore the Internet's opportunities than male business owners. For example, 47 percent of female business owners currently subscribe to an online service, compared with 41 percent of male business owners; 22 percent of the women frequently use the Internet to conduct research, compared with 14 percent of the men.

Also,

women are more positive about the future of electronic commerce than men who own businesses.

The report from the Silver Spring women's business group is based on a survey of nearly 800 female- and male-owned businesses across the country and was commissioned by International Business Machines Corp.

Another new survey also compares opposites -- company builders, who typically are small-business owners, vs. company executives, who toil at Fortune 500 firms.

Among the results of the survey, conducted by Roper Starch Worldwide for Inc. magazine, are that 68 percent of executives see entrepreneurs, not the chief executive officers of their own corporations, as the "heroes of American business today."

And if they could live their lives over again, 37 percent of those executives say they would choose to run their own companies.

Also according to the study, an overwhelming majority of entrepreneurs (81 percent) and executives (61 percent) think entrepreneurial companies are more responsive to customers.

Majorities of both groups also say entrepreneurial firms are better at developing innovative products and services, at adopting new technologies and at marketing creatively.

Big companies have the edge in two pretty obvious areas, however: They're rated better at training employees -- 81 percent of the entrepreneurs and 91 percent of the executives say so -- and offer the best compensation packages (68 percent and 73 percent, respectively).

Pub Date: 10/06/97

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