Women-owned businesses are growing rapidly
What is a Women’s Business Enterprise?
A Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) is a business has been operating for at least a year and has 51% ownership by a woman or women that are in control of the business policy and operations. There are several agencies that certify businesses as women-owned to add validity to a company that makes this claim.
I was excited to learn recently that women-owned businesses are the fastest-growing segment of new businesses in our economy. Between 1997 and 2013, while the number of businesses in the United States increased by 41%, the number of women-owned firms increased by 59%—a rate 1½ times the national average.
Indeed, the growth in women-owned firms over the past 16 years exceeds the growth rates of all but the largest, publicly traded firms in number (up 59%), employment (up 10%) and revenues (up 63%), according to The 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report.
Right now, that makes for 8.6 million women-owned businesses in the United States which generate $1.3 trillion in total receipts. The fastest growth in the number of women-owned firms over the past 11 years has been in education services (up 113%), administration and waste services (up 58%), health care and social assistance (up 45%), and transportation and warehousing (up 40%).
TranzAct is a part of this growth. In January we were awarded National and International Certifications as a Women's Business Enterprise by the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce. Although I’ve been the majority owner for years, I found that it would be helpful for many of the companies we work with to have this certification.
What’s the Fastest Growing Women-owned Business in America?
A company called “Happy Family” which sells a line of organic meals for kids. Led by Shazi Visram, this 10-year-old company experienced a quadrupling of revenue in just two years ($13.3 million in 2010 to $62.3 million in 2012).
Source: Leaning In: The 10 Fastest-Growing Women-Led Businesses, Entrepreneur
For companies that have a supplier diversity program, getting certification from the companies they’re working with provides them with supporting documentation to show that they are in fact working with companies from different backgrounds—not just taking their word for it. Since many companies such as Walmart or PG&E share their commitment to supporting diversity with the community, it’s important for them to have a solid, substantiated program.
As a member of the National Association for Female Executives and the National Association of Professional Women I’m excited to see what’s ahead for our company and women-owned businesses throughout America!