Scientific Opinion Poll: Women Small Business Owners Say Access to Birth Control is Important to their Success

For Immediate Release: 
Friday, October 13, 2017

Women small business owners cite access to birth control as an important factor in their ability to advance their career and become business owners; support contraceptive coverage for employees

Washington, DC—A scientific opinion poll released today found women small business owners say access to birth control was important to their ability to advance their careers and start their firms.

The survey, conducted by Lake Research Partners and American Viewpoint on behalf of Small Business Majority, found 71 percent of women small business owners support coverage of birth control for employees, and cite birth control access as an important factor in their own ability to advance their careers and become small business owners. In fact, 56 percent of women small business owners agree that their ability to access birth control and to decide if and when to have children allowed them to advance in their career and start their own business, and 52 percent agree this access impacts their ability to grow their businesses.  

The importance of birth control accessibility is even more important to women of color who own small businesses, as 72 percent of Latina and 72 percent of African-American women small business owners report that their ability to access birth control and decide if and when to have children has been an important part of planning their career and future.

“Access to birth control made it possible for me to choose my career path by allowing me to delay having children while I pursued a college degree, a corporate career and eventually my own businesses,” said Victoria Calderon owner of AVANZA Business Solutions and Bottoms Up Coffee Co-Op in Columbus, Ohio. “In fact, starting my second business would not have been possible without access to healthcare and contraception through my husband's employer-sponsored health plan. As an entrepreneur, I believe it’s important for employers to offer contraception through the health insurance plans they provide their employees because all women should have the opportunities I did, regardless of their financial situation.”

The poll found reproductive healthcare is especially important to women entrepreneurs. Specifically, the poll found more than 7 in 10 (71 percent) of female entrepreneurs agree that health insurance issuers should be required to include birth control coverage in their health plans. What’s more, 69 percent of female small business owners are supportive of policies that ensure and expand access to birth control.

“It is evident from this survey that access to birth control is an economic issue as much as it is a health issue for the increasing ranks of women small business owners,” said Small Business Majority Founder & CEO John Arensmeyer. “Women entrepreneurs are one of the fastest growing segments of our economy–in 2016, there were nearly 11.3 million women-owned businesses, generating more than $1.6 trillion each year and employing nearly nine million people–and this poll underscores how important reproductive health and access to birth control are to their success.”

According to this survey, the vast majority of female business owners agree (79 percent) that access to reproductive healthcare is important for women’s economic wellbeing and stability.

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 as liberal and 11 percent as pure independent. It has a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percent.

For the full poll report, please visit: 

About Small Business Majority
Small Business Majority was founded and is run by small business owners to ensure America’s entrepreneurs are a key part of an inclusive, equitable and diverse economy. We actively engage our network of more than 55,000 small business owners in support of public policy solutions and deliver information and resources to entrepreneurs that promote small business growth. Our extensive scientific polling, focus groups and economic research help us educate and inform policymakers, the media and other stakeholders about key issues impacting small businesses and freelancers. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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