IRVINE, CA--(Marketwired - Dec 1, 2014) - American business women anticipate growth in their own businesses as well as the U.S. economy, according to the recently released Sage Business Index from The Sage Group plc. Sage surveyed close to 14,000 small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) throughout the world, including 625 women business decision makers across the U.S.

Seventy-one percent of women business decision makers anticipate growth in their own businesses over the coming year; however, doubts remain about both the global economy and government support for business.

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"America is a great place to do business, and the economy is perfectly set for SMBs to thrive," said Nataline Lomedico, CFO and president for Giroux Glass, Inc. "Giroux Glass has been a women-managed business since 1991 and shattered previously-held stereotypes within our own (construction) industry throughout our growth and expansion. Our business is in good company to feel optimistic about our achievements and opportunities for the future. Women-owned and women-managed businesses bolster our growing U.S. economy and help make America an even better place to work and live."

Confidence and predictions for growth

Women are confident about the prospects for their own business, and 47 percent of respondents believe the U.S. economy is improving. However, they remain less optimistic about the global stage, with only 34 percent reporting feeling positively about the global economy.

More than half (56 percent) of women business decision makers anticipate their company's revenue will grow by 2.5 percent on average in the next year. Just 16 percent say that it will shrink. Confidence about recruitment is similarly high: 40 percent say their headcount will increase, while only 6 percent say it will decrease.

"I feel very confident in the growth of my business over the next year," said Denise Zannu, owner of Black Mermaid's Handcrafted Soaps & Products, a three-year-old business based in Snellville, Ga. "I feel strongly about my industry and have developed the proof of concept to the level of success. The natural products industry is growing over 18 percent annually, and our company is positioning itself to benefit from that growth."

Government's role

Nearly 20 percent of women say the biggest challenge to growing their business is government bureaucracy, while 15 percent name the government's handling of economic challenges as the biggest challenge. One-fifth (20 percent) of respondents say the most important thing government should do to help business growth is reduce business bureaucracy and legislation. Reducing business tax is most important for 18 percent of respondents.

Challenges for exports

One-fourth of women business decision makers say their company does business in a country other than their home market. Those companies estimate that exports account for 16 percent of their revenue, with 27 percent of exports going to Canada. In addition, 39 percent of exporters say exports increased in the last year, and 49 percent expect growth in export revenue in the next year.

"We're working on becoming a regular exporter of natural bath and body products in the early part of next year," said Zannu. "The opportunity to be a global business is both exciting and economically savvy. With the Internet and cell phones making it easy to communicate instantaneously around the world, exporting -- especially to areas with a thriving market -- just makes sense."

However, only 14 percent agree that they receive the support they need from government to enable them to grow their exports. Almost a quarter (23 percent) cite changes to legislation as the most important thing government can do to help export business grow.

"I think the concept of a global business is more overwhelming than the actual process," explained Zannu. "You do need knowledge of taxes, tariffs, shipping and port fees, and listings of those involved in the Fair Trade agreements, which can vary and fluctuate from country to country. Something that makes everything easier to calculate would help me do more exporting. Resources for investors and financing for initial export ventures would also be helpful."

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"There are nearly 8 million women-owned businesses in the U.S., so women are a rising, influential voice in the global economy," said Gabie Boko, executive vice president of marketing at Sage. "While increased government cooperation will help female executives and business owners optimize and expand their businesses, it's most important that they help one another in order to maximize their mutual growth and influence."

Women business professionals can network with each other through the new Sage LinkedIn page, "Believe: Women in Business supported by Sage," at:

Note to editors: As part of the global Sage Business Index 2014, Sage interviewed 13,710 decision makers from small and medium-sized businesses in 18 countries, between July 9 and August 29, 2014. In the U.S., specifically, Sage interviewed 1,135 small and midsized businesses, including 625 women business decision makers, during the same time period. The research follows similar studies conducted in 2011, 2012 and 2013. All data is available on request.

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About The Sage Group plc
We provide small and medium-sized organizations with a range of easy-to-use, secure, and efficient business management software and services -- from accounting and payroll to enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, and payments. Our customers receive continuous advice and support through our global network of local experts to help them solve their business problems, giving them the confidence to achieve their business ambitions. Formed in 1981, Sage was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989 and entered the FTSE 100 in 1999. Sage has millions of customers and more than 12,700 employees in 24 countries covering the UK & Ireland, mainland Europe, North America, South Africa, Australia, Asia, and Brazil. For further information please visit Follow Sage North America on Facebook,, and Twitter,

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