October is National Women’s Small Business Month, a time to celebrate the entrepreneurship and accomplishments of women in the small business arena. Women in small business have made exponential progress since the days of discrimination when they were actually discouraged from starting their own businesses and denied small business loans in droves. They have also over the years thoroughly dispelled the myth that a woman could not be the boss.
Today, more than ever before, women are starting their own businesses. In fact, according to The 2016 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, there are now 11.3 million women-owned businesses in the U.S., which employ approximately 9 million people and generate over $1.6 trillion in revenues. The report further states that women-owned businesses comprise 38 percent of the business population, employ 8 percent of the country’s private sector workforce and contribute 4 percent of the nation’s business revenues. Furthermore, since 2007, there have been 1,072 net new women-owned firms launched each and every day.
Some of the biggest strides in small business have been made by women of color, whose numbers more than doubled since 2007 to nearly 5 million. These women comprise 44 percent of all women-owned firms. However, despite the fact that the number of minority women-owned businesses has significantly increased, their average annual revenues are less than half that of the average women-owned firm (just under $69,000 per annum compared to $143,000).
The 2016 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report also lists the ten fastest-growing states for women-owned firms since 2007 in terms of economic clout (a combination of growth in number, employment and revenue). These states are North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas (all tied for first); Iowa; Indiana and Wyoming (tied for 5th); Georgia and Tennessee (tied for 7th); Utah; and Maine.
Women-owned small businesses have made a monumental difference in the business world and markedly changed the face of entrepreneurship in America; but still face challenges, such as obtaining federal contracts, for example. However, they are one of the fastest growing sectors of the U.S. economy.
Blog by Dale Myers. the NALA's Head Writer.