African-American women are breaking records and making significant economic impact with their businesses in the U.S. Between 1997 and 2013 they grew an unprecedented 258 percent! To put this in perspective, this growth is six times the national average. But the road to success has not been easy.
Women still face barriers
Thirty percent of all businesses in the U.S. are owned by women. What is amazing about this statistic is the face that women face more barriers to success than men, and still rise to the top. For example, loans and venture capital are much more difficult for women-owned businesses to secure. Government contracts are harder to obtain. Karen Lawrence, owner of It's My Affair, LLC, an event management firm, added, “Getting people to take you seriously as a business owner, especially when you’re small, is the hardest part.”
But look what they have done...
In spite of the obstacles, consider these statistics and decide for yourself whether or not you think women-owned businesses, especially women of color, have succeeded.
- Women-owned businesses created 23 million jobs (16 percent of all jobs available) by 2009.
- Women-owned businesses were responsible for an economic impact of $3 trillion.
- Women owned businesses rank second only to publicly traded companies.
- African-American women-owned businesses grew by 258 percent from 1997 to 2013 and made $226.8 billion in revenue.
- African-American women-owned businesses employ 1.4 million people -- more than the populations of Atlanta, St. Louis and Miami all together.
In spite of the obstacles, women-owned businesses, especially those owned by African American women, are coming out victorious!!
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