The recession of 2007-2009 did serious damage to the national and local economies. One bright spot is that, as the economy has bounced back, new entrepreneurs are diversifying the marketplace. Specifically, women are opening new businesses a historically unmatched rate.
It’s too early for official 2017 statistics, but in the 2016 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, it points that women now own 38 percent of the country’s businesses. That rate was just 29 percent in 2007. The 45 percent growth rate is unprecedented, and is five times the national average increase for new businesses overall. The study also notes that revenue has increased too, not just the prevalence of woman-owned businesses.
Growth and obstacles
While the growth rates show a turning of the tides, women still face obstacles in business formation that men do not. Raising capital is the primary challenge for any startup, and women often have a different experience than men in this arena, such as being subjected to a different line of questioning.
Minority-owned businesses are more common today than 10 years ago as well. The 2016 report points to a 126 percent increase in women of color starting new business in the post-recession era. While this growth is notable, there are still unique challenges. A recent Forbes article points to the underrepresentation of women with disabilities in business ownership.
Managing the minutia of a startup
The increase is business ownership shows progress, but many of the same that are common in the wider economy are also represented among business ownership—such as fewer women in ownership and management roles, and pay inequalities along gender lines. Just like the economy as a whole, business ownership is a very complex topic and many nuances go into a bigger picture concept.
Regardless of gender, anyone looking to start a business should consult with an experienced attorney to help you protect your investment and to make sure that you are reviewing your plans from all possible angles. Startup companies are central to our local economy and a vital way for individuals to improve their careers. But any business also needs guidance to make sure you’re compliant with local regulation, employment law, insurance codes and a number of other minutia that can make or break your business. Every business starts with a good idea. It requires dedication and the ability to manage obstacles to be truly successful.