April 3, 2012 | last updated June 1, 2012 1:37 pm

The Hartford: Women owners feel more successful than men

Female small business owners feel more confident in the success of their business than their male counterparts and take a more cautious approach to business risk, The Hartford says in a new survey.

Among small business owners, 91 percent of women say their business is successful, compared to 80 percent of men, according to Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.'s Small Business Pulse survey.

When asked to rate the overall level of risk they are currently taking with their business, 55 percent of female small business owners rate themselves as conservative, compared to 47 percent of males.

Furthermore, 80 percent of female small business owners believe they would not have been more successful had they taken on more risk, compared to 67 percent of males.

"These findings align with the measured approach we see in many of our own female customers," said Janice Co, vice president of strategy and chief marketing officer for The Hartford's small commercial insurance unit. "As women realize they've built successful businesses, they tend to sharpen their focus on protecting their accomplishments against future uncertainty."

While female small business owners believe they are successful, they also acknowledge that they face some significant challenges.

Women are not as optimistic as men in their outlook on the U.S. economy. When asked to gauge their level of optimism that the national economy will strengthen this year, only 53 percent of women say they are optimistic, compared to 64 percent of men.

The survey also indicates that women are more likely to vote with their business in mind during November's presidential election.

Eighty-nine percent of female small business owners say that a presidential candidate's position on pro-small business policies will have an impact on their vote, compared to 79 percent of males. Further, 55 percent of women surveyed indicate it will have a major impact, compared to 45 percent of men.

The survey was developed by The Hartford and fielded via telephone by Braun Research from Feb. 29 to March 6.

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