Updated: Mar 27
It may seem old news by now, but woman-owned businesses aren’t just casual side hustles anymore. As more and more women have joined the ranks of small business owners over the past few decades, we are becoming our own bosses in record numbers.
With continuous growth, the percentages are astounding. In 1997, 26% of total small businesses were represented by women. Now, according to the Small Business Adminstration (SBA), the number of women-owned businesses has grown to 42% and nearly 13 million businesses.
Adversity into Opportunity
The consistent development of women to chase the entrepreneurial dream over the past few years has stemmed from one major accelerated growth trend: the pandemic.
This global crisis emphasized the importance of modern business skills and empowered women to become their own bosses to take more control over their daily lives.
Prioritizing family, friends, and healthier lifestyle habits like unplugging from daily stressors, and finding joy in creative outlets, has revealed an increase in our local economy. No longer content to return to the pre-Covid status quo, many women have shifted their focus to search for a stronger work-life balance and in turn enrich our community.
Opportunity into Sustainability
Although powered by a rise in courage and confidence to get started, women still report difficulty developing strong business networks and mentors. Not everyone knows how to be an entrepreneur - it’s terrifying and lonely at times. It involves a financial and emotional rollercoaster that makes it uneasy to navigate.
To truly succeed and create a sustainable business with lasting power, women business owners must leverage resources and learn from others who have already bravely walked the path to keep their momentum going. Finding a mentor, friend, or organization to join provides both professional and personal support.
Here are a few resources to look into:
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA): counseling and training services on a variety of topics, giving women-owned small businesses better access to opportunities.
The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC): provides certification and opens up opportunities with major corporations.
Local or National Trade Groups: like Digital Women Kansas City, your industry may have groups dedicated to women. Annual conferences, webinars or masterclasses may provide networking and connectivity with women who face similar business challenges.
Leaving a Legacy
With numbers rising and female leaders seeking even greater levels, the facts will continue to speak: women aren’t going anywhere! Female entrepreneurs play a huge role in society. They have become a source of inspiration for one another and often generate employment opportunities for other women.
Women business owners are catalysts of change, creating goalposts for the next generation to emulate or even pass, inspiring others to take a path of entrepreneurship and often lifting up those who come after them as mentors.
Through supporting one another, women-owned businesses will continue to generate results and experiences that drive actions that support change in our society.
Mary-Catherine Reinert is the Founder of BP Creative Group. She is on a mission to empower creative and lifestyle businesses with unconventional ideas. Her dedication to brand strategy has led to business success, including: Multi-Award Winner of The Knot and American Business Women’s Association’s – Excellence in Entrepreneurship.
Mary-Catherine currently serves on the DWKC Digital/Communications committee.
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