Nine out of 10 women believe that their business is a success though their definition of success differs from that of men.
On the other hand, just 80 percent of male small business owners shared their optimism.
Janice Co, vice president of strategy and chief marketing officer for The Hartford's small commercial insurance unit said that the findings of this survey align with the measured approach we see in many of our own female customers, and as women realize that they've built successful businesses, they tend to sharpen their focus on protecting their accomplishments against future uncertainty.
To that end, 55 percent of women rated themselves as conservative in their overall decision making process, compared with 47 percent of men.
According to the Small Business Pulse survey, conducted by The Hartford, 80 percent of female business owners also felt that they would have been more successful if they had taken more risks. Just fewer than 70 percent of men shared their sentiment.
Part of the reason for women's differing perspective on their success may be that many of them had different reasons for starting their businesses in the first place. According to another new research finding, women are more likely to go into business on their own to make a difference, while men are more likely to be concerned about potential profits when starting a business.
The study, which examined why people started their businesses, found that women are 1.17 times more likely than men to create social ventures than economic ventures, and women are 1.23 times more likely to pursue environmental ventures than economic focused ones.
That research was done by Diana Hechevarria, a doctoral candidate at the University of Cincinnati, and co-authors Amy Ingram, an assistant professor at Clemson University, Rachida Justo, a professor at the IE Business School in Madrid, and Siri Terjesen, an assistant professor at Indiana University.
Regardless of the reason for going into business, women reported several significant barriers to future success. The biggest challenge, according to female business owners, was the increased costs of doing business.
Half of all female business owners felt that was the largest barrier to their business. Almost 40 percent of female business owners also feel that government rules and regulations were a major barrier to their business, while 35 percent of called cash flow a challenge.
Lack of customers, finding and retaining the right talent and access to credit were other significant challenges for female business owners.
A majority of both women and men feel that local and state governments have the biggest role in improving business. Overall, 53 percent of women and 64 percent of men are optimistic about the future of their business.
The information in this survey is based on the responses of 1,004 small businesses owners with less than 100 employees. The sample consisted of 271 women and 733 men.