Single moms are more ambitious than most microentrepreneurs, says Venture Forward Research

3 min read
Venture Forward

Women own the majority of online microbusinesses (52%), and single moms are one of the fastest-growing and most ambitious groups in this part of the U.S. economy.

Microbusinesses are defined as companies with fewer than 10 employees, a unique domain, and an active website.  

Chart showing microbusinesses were far more likely to start their business while continuing to work at an existing employer.

The Big Facts

Single moms run one in three women-owned businesses in the U.S. More than half (69%) of single-mom entrepreneurs aspire to own a small, mid-size, or corporate business, compared to 52% for owners without children, according to the GoDaddy Venture Forward National Survey February 2023.

  • Most single moms are also new at the game: 51% started their business in the last three years, compared to 39% for the entire sample.
  • They were far more likely to start their business while continuing to work at an existing employer.
  • Single moms are more optimistic: 88% say their business outlook for the next six months is more positive, compared to 73% for the entire sample.

Parents overall tend to be an ambitious bunch, with 66% of them aspiring to build a bigger business.

Single mom Samuelle Dilla – based in Minneapolis – was inspired by her mother’s hard work and perseverance to start her makeup artist studio. She hopes to instill that same drive in her daughter Sloan. “The reason I do the amount of work I put in,” she said, “is to show Sloan that she too can fulfill her heart’s desire and dreams.”

Stylized Quote: "The reason I do the amount of work I put in is to show Sloan that she too can fulfill her heart’s desire and dreams."

The Survey

GoDaddy’s Venture Forward initiative began in 2018 to quantify the impact of online microbusinesses on their local economies and provide a unique view into the attitudes, demographics, and needs of these entrepreneurs. The U.S. national survey started in 2019 and occurs twice a year, typically capturing responses from over 3,500 entrepreneurs per instance to identify and explore trends, as well as deliver insights to advocates of microbusiness entrepreneurs.  

GoDaddy looks at more than 20 million online microbusinesses in the U.S. who have a unique domain and active website. While these microbusinesses may be small, their impact on the U.S. economy is outsized even though they are often too informal or too new to show up in government statistics.

The Whole Picture

Women comprise the largest microbusiness ownership segment, increasing from 49% to 52% in the last three years. Motivation among business owners varies, but achieving financial and career independence are common goals. Samuelle is an example of someone who broke out to find success on her own.

  • The top two reasons women and single moms start a business are to be their own boss and support a cause or hobby.
  • 80% of women start a business for opportunity. 20% of women start a business out of necessity.

Location, Location, Location

With all the downtime Samuelle had during the pandemic, she used her creativity to create a beautiful website for her business, and she’s not alone. The most common channel microbusiness owners use to conduct business is a website.

  • 55% of people conduct business on their website, and creating a website is the first step for 28% of single moms who start microbusinesses.