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Women business owners expect higher sales and employment figures

8/22/2003 --

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---Women business owners outscored executives at Fortune 1000 companies and top NASDAQ firms in the pace at which they expect to increase sales and number of employees over the next month, according to the August 2003 Leadership Pulse.

Conducted by the University of Michigan Business School and eePulse Inc., the Web-based monthly survey of business executives worldwide is designed to measure the effects of key resources and confidence levels on overall business growth and performance. Samples of Fortune 1000 executives, top NASDAQ firms and women business owners were recently added to the survey.

The report shows that all of the groups surveyed expect increased sales and less reductions in staff in the next month. However, women business owners who responded to the survey scored 71 on "sales" and 34 on "employment," compared to averages of 62 and 26, respectively for the other leadership groups.

The women business owner scores may be higher due to the fact that, overall, these firms are smaller than other organizations or that they have unique growth strategy plans that non-women owned businesses do not have, says eePulse CEO Theresa Welbourne, an adjunct associate professor at the Michigan Business School's Zell-Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.

In the August Leadership Pulse, participants also were asked about their confidence in the overall economic climate. Data shows that confidence improved this month, with a five-point increase since the same question was last asked in June.

Respondents also were asked how problems with ethics, lack of credibility and trust are affecting their business and what they are doing to minimize problems. About 27 percent of total respondents said ethics issues were not a serious problem for them. Of the firms that did report ethics causing problems, the two most frequently cited issues were: 1) more work from management teams in terms of reporting, training and more; and reduced employee trust and confidence, leading to morale problems and lower productivity.

Another question asked leaders to share the top three things that cause a firm to stumble, and the leading themes were: vision (not having or communicating a vision properly); execution (not executing, planning or changing a vision or strategy when necessary); and leadership (lack of leadership or poor, unethical leadership lacking trust).

For more information or to participate in the Leadership Pulse study, contact Welbourne or the research team at eePulse at (734) 996-2321 or visit www.umbs.leadership.eepulse.com.



For more information, contact:
Bernie Degroat
Phone: 734.936.1015 or 734.647.1847
E-mail: bernied@umich.edu