Women business owners aren’t just surviving in the current economic stagnation. They’re thriving. The latest figures indicate that not only are women starting more small businesses, but such businesses are profitable and successful. Women business owners are driving both job and wealth creation.
According to the chart below, taken from The State of Women-Owned Businesses (2013) published by American Express, women are now the majority owners of one out of every three firms in the United States. These firms provide one out of every seven jobs among privately held firms, or one out of every 16 jobs among all firms.
The same report states that there are currently 8.6 million women-owned businesses in the country. These business are found mainly in industries such as health care, such as medical or dental practices owned by women, but increasingly among scientific and technical firms. The fastest growth in the number of women-owned business is in the education field.
How can women business owners capitalize on these trends for sustained business growth?
- One of the interesting quandaries the study’s authors unearthed is that as women business owners choose partners or managing directors for their firms, they often blur the line between the technical definition of a women-owned business. The technical definition employed by most government agencies is a business 51% or greater owned by a woman. Women who rely upon that definition for access to government contracts, vendor lists or RFP requests should ensure they maintain the definition of women owned business as required by law, or risk losing access to sources of business.
- If you are a woman considering starting a business, look to women-business owner friendly cities such as Portland (OR), San Antonio (TX), Riverside (CA) and the Washington DC – Maryland – Northern Virginia corridor, which are all cited in this and other reports as cities where women business owners predominate. Given the preponderance of women business owners in the area, networking and other opportunities may be greater in these cities. There may be additional sources of capital, for example, available to women-owned businesses in areas where such firms are welcomed and encourages.
- Women seeking credit lines for their business may find it more freely available than they imagine. According to the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), women tend to finance their businesses through their own lines of credit, including credit cards. Many women believe they don’t qualify for lines of credit. However, depending on the viability and credit history of the firm, women may indeed qualify for lines of credit that can help them purchase inventory, finance construction, or otherwise expand their businesses. It pays to investigate every funding source for your small business.
Learn more in our article Small Business Loans For Women – How And Where To Get One.
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