Did you know that women are the fastest growing segment of entrepreneurs? According to the 2016 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, commissioned by American Express, the number of women-owned firms increased by 45 percent between 2007 and 2016, compared to 9 percent among all businesses.
The data on the growth of firms started/owned by women of color, is even more compelling. In fact, nearly eight out of every 10 new women-owned firms launched over the past nine years have been founded by a woman of color.
Women-owned businesses now 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. Given the recent trends in business starts by women entrepreneurs, these numbers are destined to continue moving north.
Another interesting note is that women are increasingly starting businesses in the healthcare and sciences fields, which is always exciting as our economy makes the shift to STEM based industries.
Still, many challenges remain for women entrepreneurs, including access to capital, managing the growth and development of their businesses, lack of access to seasoned mentors, experts, advisors and business connections and implicit bias. Not to mention the fact that women entrepreneurs often have different communication and leadership styles compared to their male counterparts.
Here at Jumpstart, we realize the importance of tapping into the rich diversity of our region and closing the resource gap for diverse and ambitious entrepreneurs, including women. When we prioritize diversity throughout our entrepreneurial ecosystem (entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, talent vendors, etc.) we unleash a wealth of financial and cultural benefits to our region and our state.
In December of this year we launched the Focus Fund to help address the capital gap for female and minority entrepreneurs. The fund has already invested in BioMendics and four other companies with diverse founders. Recently we also organized the Female Founder’s Guide to Raising Capital panel and connected women to service and capital providers that support women business owners.
On October 26 we will participate in the CBC Magazine Female Entrepreneurs Summit, an event which will feature women from all over Ohio, speaking on topics ranging from the art of forming an advisory board to increasing revenue through business certifications.
Look for me and other funding providers in the Summit’s “Access to Capital” center and then break bread with us as we close the day enjoying the “Tastes of Success,” as prepared by some of the areas most accomplished female chefs!
Register here to meet and join the ranks of the nations’ fastest growing demographic of entrepreneurs for a day of knowledge, networking and growth.