Guest Post by: Tumi Frazier, founder of Tumi Frazier International
According to a study conducted by Womenable, as of 2016 it is estimated that there are now over 11.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States, employing nearly 9 million people and generating over $1.6 trillion in revenues. In essence, the number of women-owned firms in the U.S has increased by 45%, between 2007 and 2016. Whilst these numbers may look positive on the outside, there is an interesting dynamic at play.
The significant increase in the number of women-owned firms was found in the following industry sectors:
- Hair and nail salons and pet care businesses
- Health care and social assistance such as child day care, educational and home health care services
- Professional/scientific/technical services such as lawyers, accountants, architects, public relations firms and management consultants
- Administrative, support and waste management services such as office administrative support, travel agencies, cleaning and landscaping services
The fact is that women have a relatively low presence in those industries that represent the most revenue potential.
This study also shows that women are less likely to own firms in construction (13% of firms in this sector are women-owned), transportation and warehousing (14%), wholesale trade (24%), and finance and insurance (25%). Whilst a substantial number of women now own and lead businesses, some of them being multi-million dollar enterprises, there is still lot of work to be done. Only 3% of women-owned firms are considered to have “high economic impact”. High economic impact enterprises generate at least $500,000 or more in revenues, with a profound local impact and the potential to compete globally.
So what is holding them back? The newly released 2016 Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Cities Index study indicates that access to capital is still a major challenge for women. That is also the case here in Africa. The Index pointed to the fact that Johannesburg was the only city on the continent to make the list this year, ranking 23 out of 25 global cities with the ability to attract and support female entrepreneurs. New York City came out tops. Each city was ranked according to capital, technology, talent, culture and market.
The bottom line is that if the majority of women business owners had access to capital, and raised their revenue goals to match the revenues of companies owned by men, then their economic impact would be significant.
Tumi Frazier is a South African entrepreneur, professional speaker, author, TV personality, consultant, and founder of Tumi Frazier International, Tumi Leadership Academy, and Tumi Foundation. Tumi is an internationally acclaimed Leadership and Change Management expert who has worked with high profile clients and organizations across Africa, United States and Europe. Tumi has authored 4 books: Courageous Stories of Inspiration; In the Midst of the Storm; Stepping Stones to Success; and Your Moment. Follow Tumi Twitter | LinkedIn
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