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The Growing Influence of Women Entrepreneurs

Woman with curly brown hair stands and smiles in the doorway of a bike shop.

The Growing Influence of Women Entrepreneurs

Representing nearly 40% of all businesses in the US, female entrepreneurs own 11.6 million of them. Explore the growing influence of women entrepreneurs.

A quick look at the statistics for women-owned businesses reveals why the expression, “The future is female,” has never been truer than it is today. Women own 39 percent of businesses in the U.S. — 11.6 million of them. According to American Express’ 2017 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, those 11.6 million female-owned businesses generate more than $1.7 trillion and employ almost 9 million people.

Along with their influence, the number of women entrepreneurs is growing by leaps and bounds — by 18-percent in the U.S. from 2017 to 2018 and by 44 percent over the past two decades. At the same time, women entrepreneurs are more likely to have college educations than their male counterparts.

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As a result, it should come as no surprise that women-owned businesses and women-led companies are outperforming others and providing above-market returns on investments. And when companies perform well, others follow suit with investments. According to Forbes, the top 10 wealthiest female entrepreneurs work across a spectrum of industries and include Marian Ilitch, co-founder of Little Caesar’s Pizza, media mogul Oprah Winfrey, and Johnelle Hunt of J.B. Hunt transportation company.

Inside the Female-Driven Company

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Women also tend to create businesses that solve problems or fulfill needs. The co-founders of Proactiv acne treatment, Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields, created the product because they were determined to develop a better acne treatment, having both suffered from it. Alexandra Wilkis Wilson launched three companies, GlamSquad, Gilt, and Fitz, to solve problems that she experienced as a woman.

Female entrepreneurs are more likely to invest in their employees’ growth by providing job training, comprehensive benefits, and opportunities for continuing education. They are also more apt to use technology for positive business outcomes and to place importance on work-life balance.

Focus on Giving Back

Women entrepreneurs, from small business owners to CEOs of large corporations, are making a difference by effecting social change, creating socially conscious businesses, and paying it forward by giving back to their communities. This propensity for giving back is consistent across industries. Janice Bryant Howroyd, founder and CEO of Act-1 Group, the largest certified minority female-owned employment agency in the U.S., donated $10 million to the University of Southern California’s student aid programs. Designer and businesswoman Tory Burch founded the Tory Burch Foundation, which is dedicated to empowering women entrepreneurs by offering assistance with loans, mentoring, networking, and education.

Women Helping Women

Women business owners are also leading the way and finding success by creating collaborative company cultures and workplaces. They are emphasizing both internal and external collaboration and partnerships, building trust, and gaining support, balance, and growth in the process.

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New York City’s She Works Collective is a women-only co-working space founded in 2015 to help female entrepreneurs network, collaborate, and lead. She Works also offers workshops, seminars, and events for members that focus on business ownership and career growth.

Such dedicated spaces for women business owners are on the rise across the country. As the numbers of female entrepreneurs and the scope of their influence grow, they’re seeking places where they can find support and inspiration while working alongside other entrepreneurial women.

What are some of the unique ways female entrepreneurs are influencing your community? Share them with us on Facebook.

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