October is National Women’s Small Business Month. While the glass ceiling may still be alive and well, women are “leaning in” more than ever, and the hard work is paying off. There are now more ladies serving as general counsel at Fortune 500 companies than ever before — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
- Small businesses owned by women are on the rise. National Women’s Small Business Month was created by the U.S. Small Business Administration to focus on key challenges facing female job creators. Women currently boast ownership of 30 percent of all businesses, according to the SBA. Of those, 90 percent are small businesses.
- Small businesses owned by women are receiving more SBA-approved loans. Woman-owned businesses are being approved for SBA loans in staggering numbers, showing a huge push towards encouraging women to invest and start business. In Houston alone, female entrepreneurs have received more than $35 million in loans each year.
- Businesses owned by women are generating huge revenue. Cities are certainly seeing a return on their investment in woman-owned businesses. Earlier this year, American Express estimated there were more than 8.6 million woman-owned businesses in the United States, generating more than $1.3 trillion in revenue and employing roughly 7.8 million people, according to Forbes.
- Female business owners are changing gender dynamics. Business owners who happen to be female are simultaneously creating a paradigm shift in gender roles in the workplace and reshaping our corporate culture. Many women are balking at the idea of “leaning into” a traditional “masculine” approach to business and are opting to “lean back” by adding the spice of variety to entrepreneurial styles, according to Forbes.
- Women are creating jobs — the most jobs. According to Forbes, “The only bright spot in recent years with respect to privately held company job growth has been among women-owned firms. They have added an estimated 175,000 jobs to the U.S. economy since 2007.”