Women in Business: Leading the Way to Economic Recovery

In a previous post, we discussed the dramatic rise in new American entrepreneurship – Jason Hartman’s innovative real estate approach is one example – and its contribution to global innovation and competition. Now, technology puts business ownership within the reach of more and more people, fueling job growth and stimulating economic recovery. And one kind of entrepreneurship is driving job creation more than any other: women-owned businesses.

According to SmallBizTrends, small business analysts predict that by 2018 women entrepreneurs will have been responsible for creating over 5 million new jobs across the country – over half the new jobs that the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects small businesses to create. What’s more, women-owned businesses appear to expand faster than those owned by men. In general, they tend to be funded by either personal sources or relatively small loans, leaving more capital available for other kinds of startups.

Several factors account for the rise of entrepreneurship among women. The traditional profile of a woman in business is of a professional unhappy with corporate life who strikes out on her own in an industry related to her career. But that, too, has changed. Because many women find corporate doors closed to them, they’ve been downsized or laid off, or because life events such as child-rearing or caring for aging parents make it difficult to pursue the arc of a mainstream career, they’re dedicated to creating a work life on their own terms.

Women graduate from college at higher rates than men, although in many fields they may earn less than men in equivalent positions. Entrepreneurship levels the playing field, particularly in a digital world where the same tools are available to everyone. Keeping pace with the statistics about women-owned businesses, internet-based business startups are also at an all time high. And many resources for online businesses target the needs of women, such as stay at home mothers.

The rise of women’s entrepreneurship in the US leaves a lasting footprint on the nation’s workplace as a whole, both in the physical and virtual spheres. Women-owned businesses tend to reject the hierarchical culture of the traditional business model in favor of a more egalitarian and holistic model. They emphasize establishing relationships and creating opportunities for others as well. And, these entrepreneurs are quick to reach out to other women around the world for support and advice. Women’s business and professional organizations have been responsible for helping low-income women in countries such as India to start micro businesses to lift themselves out of poverty.

As American business culture evolves to meet the challenges of a global marketplace that’s dominated by information sharing and technology, the emerging culture of women in business leads the way, creating jobs and shifting attitudes. For innovation and economic growth, the smart money is on the woman at the helm in businesses small and large.

The American Monetary Association Team

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