What do women entrepreneurs want? Candidates who understand business. (BizJournals)

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What do women entrepreneurs want? Candidates who understand business. (BizJournals)

Women business owners are looking for candidates with a pro-business agenda, and that starts with reforming the individual income tax code.

That's according to an online survey conducted Oct. 15-24 by the National Association for the Self-Employed. Most of the 153 women business owners surveyed are self-employed, and more than 70 percent have owned their business for more than six years. More than 40 percent started their businesses when they were 41 or older, but 35 percent were in their 30s. More than 39 percent own professional services firms; consumer goods and health care were the next two most popular industries.

One key point for politicians to consider: Women business owners vote — more than 86 percent plan to plan to vote in the Nov. 4 midterm elections.

More than 80 percent used personal savings to start their business.

"The issues and decisions at all levels of government that may impact that investment mean a great deal to them," said Katie Vlietstra, vice president for government relations and public affairs for NASE. "From individual tax reform to expanding access to capital, women small business owners are looking for candidates and elected officials who understand the challenges they face."

Nearly 60 percent said finding ways to market and grow their business was one of their biggest challenges. Health care costs and access to capital also were cited as major challenges.

While a desire to have a more balanced life was their No. 1 reason for starting their business, 59 percent said the greatest benefit of owning their own business was a chance to build something meaningful.

And it's working out for most of them — 85 percent are satisfied with their life as a small business owner, with 47 percent saying they are very satisfied.

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Courtesy of NASE.org