More and more women, especially women of color, are setting up their own businesses, where they can decide what is appropriate at work. After all, when you own the place, that missed promotion at a past job doesn’t seem like a big deal anymore. Women comprise 50 percent of the U.S. population, and they are ready to make that equality resonate in board rooms.
Overall, women have also surpassed men in education so that 33 percent now earn a bachelor’s degree or higher. Further, women control $14 trillion (more than half) of personal wealth in America as of the most recent census detail.
Women are Taking Charge
Last year, American Express commissioned a study of the state of women in business, and it turns out that women of color are making leaps and bounds in the entrepreneurial realm.
For the last 20 years, African American women have embraced entrepreneurship at extraordinary rates. While women-owned businesses increased by an impressive 114 percent from 1997 to 2017, companies owned and operated by women of color quadrupled (467 percent). Three segments had even higher percentage increases by category:
- African American: 605 percent
- Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 493 percent
- Latina: 491 percent
According to the Amex study, despite this tremendous progress, women still own only 30 percent of U.S. businesses and attract a mere 5 percent of the country’s equity capital. Meanwhile, there are 9.8 million women-owned businesses generating $1.4 trillion in revenue and providing 7.8 million jobs and women are launching 1, 200 new businesses every day to catch up.
African-American Owned Businesses
Women-owned businesses continue to grow faster than any other demographic. Remarkably, the growth is universal, not tied to certain states or regions. Women of color, and women in general, have truly proven themselves capable of owning and running businesses and set the stage for those to come.
So, just what are all these women doing to close the gap? Other services, including nail salons, hair salons and pet care account for 23 percent of this growth. Health care and social assistance businesses, such as child day care and home health care make up 15 percent of 1.8 million women-owned companies. Meanwhile, scientific, professional and technical services represent 12 percent of companies owned by women, who work as independent service providers, including architects, accountants, lawyers, PR firms and management consultants.
While gender bias may still be an issue for women across the spectrum, from Hollywood stars to corporate CEOs, women have shown that they are no longer going to stay quiet. Thanks to MeToo and other trends, women are stepping up, speaking out and opening businesses faster than ever before.