It’s good to be proud… but get your info right!

5 Aug

Scott Shane posted on Small Business trends about a mistake made by Carly Fiorina on a CNBC TV show. This is an interesting post because it points out how numbers and % can be readjusted, misstated, or misquoted to “prove” whatever point the person giving the numbers wants to prove.

Carly Fiorina said:

“Women are also an economic force, because they start small businesses at twice the rate of men.”

The reality is that the rate at which women are starting businesses is growing twice as quickly as the rate of men starting businesses. But Carly’s statement leads one to believe that more women are starting businesses than men – which is NOT true. As Scott Shane points out:

If there are 100 male business owners and one female business owner in 2007 and then in 2008 there is 101 male business owners and two female business owners, the rate of growth of male business ownership was one percent while the rate of growth of female business ownership was 100 percent. That is, the rate of growth was 100 to 1 for women to men. However, you still only have two female business owners to 101 male business owners, which is less than two percent.

This is a VERY important point. Especially when you consider that the McCain camp has been hinting that Carly might be on the short list for the VP position. We wouldn’t want a VP who thinks that women are doing great in the small business start-up world, and not put funding behind efforts to close the gender divide in business. It is still shocking to me that you have very important, very smart people, spouting misinformation. Don’t they have a “staff” to speech write and fact check? This is why we have a country of people who think that Saddam Hussein was directly involved in the World Trade Center attacks of 9/11 (he wasn’t).

I am pretty sure that Carly was just trying to highlight how many smart women are out in the USA doing business, starting businesses, and becoming successful entrepreneurs. But she needs to make sure she keeps her facts straight and paints an accurate picture. So remember people – just because you saw it on TV — or even on the Internet — it certainly does not mean it is true!

-Sabrina Parsons

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