FIELD’s microTracker recently released highlights from its 2013 Client Outcomes Survey. In 2014, 17 microbusiness development programs collected data on the characteristics of their client businesses in 2013.
The majority of clients (63 percent) operated their businesses full-time, and one-quarter of business owners worked part time. The median revenue for full-time businesses was $109,000, compared to median revenue of $12,000 for part-time businesses. Half of the businesses surveyed also provided jobs for other paid workers – an average of 1.9 jobs per business in addition to the owner. Although all of these businesses started with fewer than five paid workers and with less than $50,000 in start-up capital, 14 percent of the businesses reported at least five paid workers, and four percent reported employing at least 10 paid workers.
Approximately a year after entering the microbusiness development program, 94 percent of business owners reported they were still operating their business in 2013. Sixty-eight percent of businesses increased their revenues since entering a microbusiness program and the median business revenue for these 227 businesses increased 95 percent. The majority of microbusiness clients surveyed were female. More than half classified themselves as belonging to a racial or ethnic minority group, and a third lived in low-income households at the time they first received assistance from the microbusiness program. The household income of the entrepreneurs grew modestly. More than half (59 percent) of respondents reported higher household income in 2013 than at the time they entered the microbusiness program. Median and mean household income both increased by twenty-one percent.
The analysis also compares benefits documented in the EntrepreneurTracker client outcomes survey, to the costs reported by the 17 participating MDOs. Benefits are defined by increases in owner’s draw and wages paid to workers. Their analysis shows that each dollar of program costs generated between $6.40 and $6.77 in benefits.