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Women in Business – By the Numbers

At Lendistry, every month is Women’s Small Business Month, but nationally the month of October is dedicated to female entrepreneurs. Why? Because while the number of woman-owned small businesses has increased 18% since 2017, less than half of all privately-held firms are owned by women (39%), and just one in five firms with revenue of over $1 million is woman-owned.

Those are strong numbers, to be sure, but there’s a lot of progress to be made. Even though, according to the SBA data, women pay off debt faster than men do, they still find it more difficult to obtain small business funding. Fundera research reveals that only one in four female entrepreneurs apply for business financing, and when they do apply, they ask for approximately $35,000 less than male business owners. Small business funding enables small businesses to grow faster, employ more people, open new locations, and become a powerful force in the local and national economy.

What can women do to obtain funding? The SBA’s Women’s Business Center is a dedicated resource to “level the playing field”. Here at Lendistry, we focus on providing financing to the underfunded and have helped 63 women start or grow small businesses since 2017. Opportunity Fund and Accion are also well-known microlenders for women and the underbanked. Angel investors and crowdfunding have also helped springboard women-led firms.

The Future is Female

Ever since African American entrepreneur, Madam C.J. Walker, became the first female self-made millionaire (and source of some of the best ever inspiring quotes for entrepreneurs), women have shown their business acumen and innovative ideas.

Angie’s List and Mrs. Fields are female-founded household names of our generation. From Cher Wang in the tech industry, to Cynthia Ndubuis of eco-friendly soap fame, to Sara Blakely who revolutionized shapewear with SPANX, women continue to remold the foundations of every industry.

Kauffman reports that the number of new women-owned businesses is increasing at twice the rate of male-owned businesses.

Here’s some more promising math. The SBA adds that the majority of women-owned firms are in the healthcare and social services industries. Plus, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says healthcare is the fastest-growing industry. In our books, this adds up to promising new numbers for the next few years.

Before we go, let’s all bask in some C.J. Walker wisdom.

“I am not satisfied in making money for myself. I endeavor to provide employment to hundreds of women of my race.”

“I had to make my own living and my own opportunity. But I made it! Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.”

“I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South. From there I got promoted to the washtub.  From there I was promoted to the cook kitchen. And from there I promoted myself into the business of manufacturing hair goods and preparations. I have built my own factory on my own ground.”

“There is no royal flower-strewn path to success. And if there is, I have not found it for if I have accomplished anything in life it is because I have been willing to work hard.”