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As we celebrate Women’s History Month, most of us are thinking of trailblazers like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Marie Curie, and Malala Yousafzai – and, for obvious reasons!
Yet we’d like to consider the contributions of some women who have made an impact in a different way: small business owners.
What impact have women had over the years in the realm of small businesses? Here’s a look at some of the female business owners we admire most, what impact women have had in recent history, and what still needs to be done.
In any industry, men still consistently outrank women in terms of their earning power, and small business leadership is no different.
Employees of women-owned companies earn an average of just $38,238 a year, as compared to their male counterparts who earn an average of $54,114.
In 2018, women-owned businesses netted an average of $1.6 million in sales, shipments, and revenue while male-owned businesses earned an average of $3.2 million.
Yet there are promising signs that women might be catching up. Between 2014 and 2019, the overall number of female-owned small businesses grew by 21%.
Traditionally, the percentage of entrepreneurs who were minority women has been very small. But recently, that’s changing. In 2020, 64% of all new female entrepreneurs were women of color, a statistic that shows great promise for minority women, as it effectively makes them a majority in this area.
And here’s another exciting statistic: the percentage of Latina-owned new businesses rose 87% in the same year.
Yet we still have a long way to go to break the entrepreneurship glass ceiling where minorities are concerned. Despite all this recent growth, 82.8% of women-owned firms are still led by white women.
The statistics show that women are less likely to seek financing for small businesses. According to the SBA, only 28% of Small Business Administration loans go to women. Does this mean that women are more self-sufficient, and less likely to require financing? Other statistics say no. Women’s businesses contribute just a little over 4% to total annual private sector revenue. This tells us that women could be even more successful if they sought available financing to the same degree as men.
In addition, women only receive 7% of available venture money for startups.
Now that we’ve taken a look at the current state of female entrepreneurship here in the US, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to give a shout out to some of the women we admire the most!
As women-owned small businesses continue to grow, there is a hope that they may begin to more accurately reflect the gender and ethnicity of the larger workforce.
These businesses can add valuable new jobs to the economy, as did Tierra Kavanaugh, whose company TKT & Associates doubled its employees in just a few years. Another woman-owned business, Enspire Energy, provides energy solutions to the Mid-Atlantic region.
Continued investment in women-owned businesses like these is a surefire way to employ larger amounts of people across all gender and race lines and to boost the economy.
The success of female entrepreneurs in the face of the many obstacles stacked against them is evidence that you just can’t keep a strong woman down. As employers and problem-solvers, women-owned businesses are a valuable piece of our economy, and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon.Back