Celebrating Women-Owned Businesses

This week is Small Business Week.   Two years ago I had NO idea that I would be a member of that club.

From Intrapreneur to Entrepreneur: Joining the ranks of women-owned businesses

In August of 2017, I joined the growing ranks of women-owned businesses by becoming a partner with Tammy Williams and She’s It, LLC.  A baby-boomer close to what is “considered” retirement age, I could have rested on my years as an educator, administrator and higher-education professor with many successes and heart-warming experiences with students, faculty, administration, and communities.   I considered myself an intrapreneur, making changes within the K-12, non-profit and higher education worlds. Whenever I heard the words: “we don’t have money for that” or “that’s not been done before”, I made “that” happen

In retrospect, I realized I had been innovating and creating  my teaching, administration and educator roles to fit the larger vision of what could be.  However, my last four years in higher education convinced me the doors to innovation in education, programming and services to school communities were closing.  I had done all I could to keep them open and it wasn’t happening. It was time for me to go.    

My shift to focusing my energies on women and social health empowerment happened as a result of the January 2017 Women’s March in Washington, DC, but that is for another story.  What is important here celebrating Small Business Week, is how incredibly remarkable businesswomen are!

I had no idea I was joining:

More than 12.3 million women-owned firms, employing over 9 million people, generating $1.8 trillion in sales as of 2018. Women-owned firms (51% or more women holding shares) account for 40% of all privately held firms and contribute 8% of employment and 4.3% of revenues

One in five businesses with revenue of $1 million or more is woman-owned; with 4.2% of all women-owned firms have revenues of 1 million or more

The growth-rate for women-owned businesses has dwarfed the national average increasing by a staggering 141% compared to 44% for all businesses.

An even more compelling statistic for the wonderful world of women-owned businesses is that the employment growth rate over the past 20 years was stronger for women-owned businesses than for all business: 27% vs. 13%.

Women business-owners rock! 

Not only have I joined the world of women-owned businesses, but I’ve also become a partner with a minority woman-owned business.

Of the 12.3 million women-owned businesses, 47 percent are majority-owned by women of color.  Our businesses employ over 2.2 million people and generate $386.6 billion in revenues annually;

And, according to the Tax Foundation, She’s It, LLC is one of only 8% of partnerships as compared to 73 percent of “solopreneurs”.

The challenges are real! 

Challenging times and experiences are not new to me. I’ve spent many sleepless nights writing grants and creating programs that would make a difference in the lives of students, teachers, and communities.  I fought, I cried.

However, when I read the statistics about funding women’s businesses, I was almost stopped in my tracks:

Entrepreneur.com reports that of $85 Billion Venture Capital Funding spent in 2017, only 2.2 percent went to female founders.

If that wasn’t tough enough, every year, women of color receive less than 1 percent of total funding.

Daunting? Yes. Worth It? Yes!

I was born on a Thursday, and Thursday’s child has far to go.  So, while this road may be daunting and perhaps more so than any path I’ve walked before, I walk with my business partner Tammy Williams and the many, many solopreneurs and business partners on this same journey.

Joining professional women’s organizations such as Ellevate Network, National Association of Women Business Owners, Fem City of Philadelphia and the International Association of Women have put me in touch with women I NEVER would have met!

I have such tremendous respect, empathy, and at times even awe for women that take this path… this Small Business path to more fulfillment, to make a difference, to feed your families, to be your own boss.

The data is clear, the contributions of women-owned businesses, including minority women-owned businesses, is growing each and every day.  Celebrate by getting to know women-owned businesses in your community, and then, walk into their shop; go to their website, purchase their products.   You will be more than glad you did.

She’s It wants you to begin to take charge of your life.  The beginning of May and its focus on Small Business Week helps us to reflect and remember our goal to democratize Social Health Empowerment and 360° Wellness.  Work and its tremendous impact on our lives; our livelihood, our families and communities and most especially, our identities as women, is crucial.   If you are considering a change in your path,  you will have millions of women as co-patriots by starting your woman-owned business!

Our WORK ELM Channel provides knowledge and support to help you find ways to engage in work topics that matter. Our goal is for you to Engage, Learn and be Motivated about what you read. That’s why we say Let’s ELM and it’s what I hope took place with this article and those you read on your SHEapp.

See you next week!

Carol Pate, Ed.D., Email me
Executive VP & Partner, She’s It LLC

#SmallBusinessWeek #Women-OwnedBusinesses #Minority-Women OwnedBusinesses  #SocialHealthEmpowerment #ShesIt #360WellBeing #EngageLearnMotivate #LetsELM