While financial success is important to female small business owners in the United States, achieving this success cannot come at the cost of doing work that lacks meaning, according to new research by The Business Journals.

The results of the 15th annual SMB Insights survey were released in April and analyzed businesses with five to 499 employees. The research surmised that women-owned companies are a major force in the United States, accounting for $1.7 trillion in sales and employing 9.5 million workers. They plan to hire more full-time employees this year, and their net worth has increased 23 percent to $1.2 million.

However, female business owners often have a unique approach for achieving success. This comes through having a clear sense of purpose about themselves and their businesses. This purpose can be found in work that has meaning, often found in service-oriented industries such as healthcare, education, administrative support and personal services as this allows them to support, mentor and care for others.

In general, according to the survey, women's concerns about all facets of running a successful business are greater than men's. They also make it a priority to reach out and connect with their local communities.

Other findings from the survey include:
  • Women's optimism about the economy and future business success is lower than men's.
  • Despite their muted optimism, 77 percent of women business owners are planning to hire in 2017.
  • Women business owners report having a clearer focus and sense of purpose than male business owners. More women also reported being forward-thinkers and wanting to get to the very top of their field/profession.
  • Women owners have greater concerns than men in areas such as retirement, the economy, rising costs and time demands.
  • Women business owners care more about the environment and social issues.
View the full report here.