Denton Record-Chronicle: October is National Women’s Small Business Month

Denton Record-Chronicle, September 18, 2019: October is National Women’s Small Business Month

October is National Women’s Small Business Month, and it’s when we recognize the accomplishments and contributions that women entrepreneurs have made to our economy.

In the United States, women now own 12.3 million companies — an increase of almost 60% compared to 10 years ago. These women-owned firms employ more than 8 million people and provide $264 billion in wages to employees.

Here are some other eye-popping figures to consider:

  1. 1,821 new women-owned business opened each day in 2017 and 2018.
  2. 5.8 million companies are minority-owned, an increase of 163% since 2007.
  3. In 2018, 208,000 women-owned businesses generated revenues of more than $1 million, an increase of 46% over the past 11 years.

From restaurants and retail operations to manufacturing, medical, law and real estate offices, businesses owned and operated by women in Texas continue to grow and thrive. In Texas alone, there are an estimated 11 million privately held businesses owned by women, and according to the U.S. Census Bureau, out of 63,243 businesses in Denton County, 22,404 (35%) are owned by women.

While there is much to celebrate, there continue to be challenges specific to women-owned businesses — most notably, access to capital.

While capital is crucial for growing a business, it isn’t always easy for an entrepreneur to find funding options — especially for women — and it’s even more difficult for women of color. According to Fortune, women-owned firms received just $1.9 billion of $85 billion invested by venture capitalists last year while businesses owned by men received about $66.9 billion, or 79% (the remaining 19% of funds were raised by mixed and non-specific gender teams). Similarly, the rate of business loan approval is much lower for women than men. The Small Business Administration’s gap analysis of its business loan program found that women account for only 16% of all of SBA’s conventional small business loan portfolio.

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