What Caused the Growth in Women-Owned Businesses?

What is responsible for the 27.5% growth rate in women-owned businesses since 2007?  Inc. Magazine’s article on “Where the Boom in Women-Led Startups Is Really Coming From” summarized the key driver for growth in this segment:  Women of Color.

  1. Per Inc., black, Hispanic, and Asian women are driving the impressive numbers among women. Overall, the number of businesses owned by women of color jumped by 42 percent between 2007 and 2012.
  2. To further break it down, since 2007:

a.      Hispanic women-owned businesses jumped 87.3 percent.

b.      Black women-owned businesses increased 67.5 percent.

c.       Asian-American women increased the number of businesses they own by 38.7 percent.

There are numerous reasons why women of color are starting their businesses more than ever.  Some are theoretical, while others are factual:

  • Both Shilpa Shah and Cristina Ros Blankfein felt it’s the immigrant mentality.  Immigrants are used to seizing opportunities when they see it because they have it more difficult when coming to the US.  Immigrants pass down very strong family values which is important in running a business.
  • Tanya Menendez, the child of immigrants, says, “The mindset is always to do better than your parents.”
  • I agree with all the contributors, but I feel Carla Harris is on target when she said that women were disproportionately impacted with layoffs and had to find a means of making a living.  Entrepreneurship was the best way to earn a living.

As an immigrant like Shilpa, Cristina and Tanya, my life included many models of entrepreneurship. We were raised to hustle and make a living out of nothing.  As a woman, I know this is our time to make our mark.  It was not really a long time ago that we got the right to vote or open a bank account.  We are recognizing, and stepping into, our power – full steam ahead.