Current News & Events in Women's Enterprise Development
News in women's entrepreneurship from around the world
Here is what is happening in the world of women's entrepreneurship around the world. Most of the news items below contain links to web sites and/or documents we hope will not only interest you, but further enable your efforts to support women's entrepreneurship.
- The state of women-owned businesses in the US, 2013: With the support of American Express OPEN, Womenable has reported on trends in the growth and development of women-owned enterprises, drawing upon detailed information from the U.S. Census Bureau, since 2011.
In our inaugural report, The American Express OPEN State of Women-Owned Businesses Report: A Summary of Important Trends, 1997-2011, we provided up-to-date estimates on the number, employment and revenues of women-owned firms, and shared the insight that – despite above-average growth in the number of firms – women-owned businesses were not progressing up the business size continuum.
Our 2012 report, The State of Women-Owned Businesses Report: A Summary of Important Trends, 1997-2012, again provided up-to-date estimates of the number and growth of women-owned firms, and took a more detailed look at the economic clout of women-owned firms regionally and within industry – finding that women-owned firms in two industries (construction and transportation) were standing toe-to-toe with their industry peers with respect to the share generating $500,000+ in revenues.
With our most recent installment in the series, The 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report: A Summary of Important Trends, 1997-2013, we again provide women business owners and their associations, supporters of women’s business development and other stakeholders with the most comprehensive review and analysis of the current health and well-being of women-owned firms in the United States – as well as in all 50 states and the 25 most populous metropolitan areas. Further, the report expands its focus this year to look at the phenomenal growth of firms owned by women of color.
Among this year’s key findings are:
- As of 2013, it is estimated that there are over 8.6 million women-owned businesses in the United States, generating over $1.3 trillion in revenues and employing nearly 7.8 million people. The growth in the number, revenues and employment of women-owned firms over the past 16 years exceeds the growth rates of all but the very largest, publicly-traded corporations in the country;
- Indeed, when looking specifically at the 2007-2013 period – since just before the start of the recent recession – the net increase of 5.3 million jobs economy-wide has come almost entirely from very large public corporations … AND women-owned firms. During the past six years, employment in women-owned and equally-owned firms has fallen;
- The states in which growth in the number, employment and revenues of women-owned firms has been the strongest since 1997 are the District of Columbia, North Dakota, Nevada, Wyoming and Georgia. San Antonio TX, Portland OR, Houston TX, Riverside CA, and Washington DC/MD/VA are the fastest-growing metro areas for women-owned businesses;
- In 1997, there were just under 1 million (929,445) firms owned by women of color, accounting for one in six (17%) women-owned firms. That number has skyrocketed to an estimated 2,677,700 as of 2013, and now comprises one in three (31%) women-owned firms;
- While firms owned by women of color are smaller than non-minority women-owned businesses both in terms of average employment and revenues, their growth in number and economic clout is generally far outpacing that of all women-owned firms. Indeed, the growth in the number of African American (up 258% from 1997 to 2013), Asian American (+156%), Latina (+180%), Native American/ Alaska Native (108%), and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (+216%) women-owned firms all top the growth in the number of non-minority women-owned firms (+32%) over the past 16 years.
You may download and read the complete 71-page report by visiting openforum.com/womensbusinessreport or clicking on the link above. You may also wish to download and read the news release for the report. (April 2013)
- Intel report on women and the web: A new report recently released by Intel adds to the body of research focusing on gaps in technology availability and usage by gender, adding to the evidence base that access to technology increases empowerment, education, and economic well-being.
The report, Women and the Web, combines interviews with 2,200 women in four countries (Egypt, India, Mexico, and Uganda) with data from a variety of other sources and shares the following observations:
- Gender barriers to technology are real. On average across the developing world, nearly 25 percent fewer women than men have access to the Internet.
- Bridging the Internet gender gap can boost women's income and income potential. Across the surveyed countries, nearly half of respondents used the Web to search for and apply for a job, and 30 percent had used the Internet to earn additional income.
- Use of the Internet also increases women's sense of empowerment. More than 70% of women surveyed who are online say that it is "liberating" and 85% say it "provides more freedom."
The 104-page report concludes with a series of recommendations for action to bridge the gender technology divide. Read a news release highlighting other findings HERE, and download and read the full report HERE.
Other earlier reports on this topic may also be of interest:
Finally, womenablers may also be interested in the Research Links page of the Anita Borg Institute, which focuses mainly on research on women in technology, but is nonetheless a great resource to bookmark for future reference. (April 2013)
- 15th annual l'Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science awards: Since 1998, l'Oreal and UNESCO have collaborated on a program awarding fellowships to female graduate students in the sciences, and recognizing the accomplishments of leading women in STEM fields internationally. Each year, 5 regionally-defined awards have been bestowed, and the 2013 awards were just recently announced. This year's laureates are:
- Professor Marcia Barbosa, laureate for Latin America,
- Professor Pratibha L. Gai, laureate for Europe,
- Professor Deborah S. Jin, laureate for North America,
- Professor Reiko Kuroda, laureate for Asia-Pacific, and
- Professor Francisca Okeke, laureate for Africa and the Arab States.
The presentation of the awards capped a week-long celebration in Paris. How cool is it that women in science were depicted in a display along the Champs-Elysées in view of l'Arc de Triomphe? (see photo above)
Learn more about the laureates HERE, and learn more about the program and the awards at forwomeninscience.com. You may also wish to follow news of the program on Twitter, or like their Facebook page. (April 2013)
- Who are the most powerful women in the UK?: Womenable has long been a fan of BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour - we download and listen to many a show on our long womenabling flights around the globe. Last year, Woman's Hour followed the trials and tribulations of three women entrepreneurs, pairing them up with mentors and discussing their entrepreneurial growth pains at regular intervals during the year. It was fascinating, illuminating and - we would guess - very inspirational for listeners thinking of starting and growing their own businesses.
This year, they've set a new high bar - announcing a Power List of the 100 most powerful women in the UK. The build-up to the announcement was interesting to listen to, as they highlighted the advancement - or lack thereof - of women in business, politics, education, science and sport. It was a thoughtful, open process and the list is an interesting mix of the elite and the street-smart. Of course, #1 on the list is Queen Elizabeth, and many of the others in the ranked top-twenty lists are Dames and Right Honorables (position defines clout, in the UK and elsewhere). However, the list also includes such built-it-not-born-into-it women as singer Adele, noted architect Zaha Hadid, author JK Rowling, and a variety of women in sport, business, politics and civil society.
It's a wonderful mix of women from a variety of walks of life, and generations, but some have commented that it's not a very ethnically diverse list and that there were political and face-saving motivations for embarking upon this quest. But then, the halls of power are still relatively homogenous. By our eye, this women's power list is much more diverse on so many levels than a gender-blind power list would be. And, whatever the motivations may have been, it's a wonderful window on the world of women's influence in the United Kingdom, a good conversation-starter about who may be missing from the list, and a feather in the cap of a fine radio program that, in our view, deserves more than a moment in the spotlight.
Check out the Woman's Hour Power List, the stories behind how the list was chosen, and some of the commentary following the announcement of the list - including the chagrin of some that the Duchess of Cambridge was not included in the list.
Well done, Woman's Hour! (March 2013)
- Lean in Sparks Push Back: A recently-published Womenabler blogpost reflects on Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's recently published book, "Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead," and the outpouring of commentary it has generated.
"Leaning in: It began, perhaps, with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's December 2010 TEDWomen talk on why there are so few women leaders (which has now garnered 2.1 million views on TED.com and YouTube). Her ideas were further refined in her May 2011 commencement speech at Barnard College, and have now been expanded and formalized into a new book, Lean in: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, which is - in true social media fashion - feeding into the launch of a web-based community, leanin.org.
"All of these missives revolve around Sandberg's view that too many women shy away from stepping up to the plate at the workplace, muffling their own ambitions and thereby short-changing their careers. On the face of it, not too controversial, but my, oh my what a firestorm of responses her views have sparked! Womenable pointed to the juxtaposition of the TEDWomen talk and Anne-Marie Slaughter's counterpoint piece in the July/August 2012 issue of the Atlantic, Why Women Still Can't Have it All, as one of the top womenabling news and events of 2012.
"The well-orchestrated March 11th publication of Sandberg's book has been met with a firestorm of commentary, however, not all of it positive. Here's just a selection of related op-eds and direct commentary and coverage..."
Click here to read on. (March 2013)
- Have a Coke and a business loan: IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and The Coca-Cola Company recently announced a $100 million, three-year joint initiative that will spread happiness - and much-needed business financing - to women business owners in Africa and other emerging markets.
IFC will work through its network of local and regional banking institutions to provide financing and business skills training, while Coca-Cola will open up access to the women entrepreneurs who are part of their 5by20 program.
Initially, the partnership will mainly benefit women-owned SMEs in Coca-Cola’s value chain in Nigeria, but plans are to expand regionally. Women will gain increased access to finance through IFC’s investment in a $22 million risk-sharing facility with Access Bank of Nigeria, in close collaboration with Coca-Cola’s partner, the Nigerian Bottling Company PLC.
Learn more about the initiative in this IFC news release or in this news article in Nigeria's Business Day. (March 2013)
- New GEM report published: The 2012 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor was recently unveiled at an event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (ranked 12th in the world on the ease of doing business in the World Bank's Doing Business rankings).
This is the 14th year for the unique and impactful international effort. Starting in 1999 with 10 countries, the GEM collaboration now includes 69 world economies accounting for 87% of global GDP.
Of special interest to we womenablers, of course, is the ongoing accounting of the continuing gap in the share of adult females starting and growing businesses compared to their male counterparts. In nearly every region of the world, women are less likely to be starting new enterprises or to own established businesses.
The new report, however, indicates that the gender gap in business ownership has virtually disappeared in sub-Saharan Africa. The gap is widest in the Middle East and North Africa, where men are 2.8 times as likely as women to own a business.
Conversely, according to the new report, there are five countries in which entrepreneurship rates among women are actually higher than among men: Ecuador, Ghana, Nigeria, Panama, and Thailand.
To learn more about the report GEM and this latest effort, read the recent news release, visit the GEM website, or download the report.
Finally, check out the series of special reports on women and entrepreneurship, the most recent of which was published in 2011. (February 2013)
- Many women-owned firms growing "under the radar": There's a new report just out that kicks off 2013 with some great news: women-owned firms at the highest level of revenue achievement have been doing even better than we might have imagined. They've been growing in number right under our very noses. In fact, the number of women-owned firms with $10 million or more in revenue has increased by 57% over the past decade - a rate fully 47% faster than the growth of all $10M+ businesses, and nearly twice (+98%) the rate of growth of all women-owned firms.
These startling new facts are from Growing Under the Radar: An Exploration of the Achievements of Million-Dollar Women-Owned Firms, a new report authored by Womenable and commissioned by American Express OPEN.
How could this have been happening, largely undetected, under our very noses? Well, the "million dollar bucket" is a diverse one - containing both relatively small $1 million privately-held firms and multi-billion dollar publicly traded corporations. And, since this population contains just 2% of women-owned firms and 5% of all firms, it's the largest sales category published by the Census Bureau. Now, for the first time, Womenable was able to obtain previously unpublished data from our friends at the Economic Statistics Branch of the Census Bureau (mwah!) - and the information is gratifying:
- Between 2002 and 2012, the number of majority women-owned firms with $10 million or more in revenues increased from 8,110 to 12,700 ñ a 56.6% increase. During that same time period, the number of women-owned firms with $1 million or more in revenues grew from 116,985 to 152,900 ñ a 30.7% increase. Thus, the growth in the number of $10M+ women-owned firms exceeds the growth of all $1M+ women-owned firms by 84%.
- Comparing growth rates among the firms of highest achievement finds women-owned firms again surpassing average growth by a large margin. The growth in the number of $10M+ women-owned firms (56.6%) surpasses the growth in the number of all $10M+ businesses (38.4%) by fully†47%.
- The share of firms reaching this rarified atmosphere remains small. Within the population of million-dollar firms, 75% have $1-$4.9 million, 12% have $5-$9.9 million, and 13% have $10 million or more in revenues. Among million-dollar women-owned firms, 82% have $1-4.9M, 10% have $5-9.9M, and 8% have $10M+ in revenues.
- Some industries are more scalable than others. Looking within the population of million-dollar women-owned firms finds that women-owned firms in wholesale trade have achieved the highest level of firm revenues. Fully 20% of the million-dollar women-owned firms in this industry have topped the $10 million mark, well above the 8% seen among all million-dollar women-owned firms. Women-owned firms in three other industries have also exceeded the 8% national average: finance and insurance, in which 12% of million-dollar women-owned firms have achieved $10M+ in revenues; transportation/warehousing, in which 11% have passed the $10M mark; and arts/entertainment/recreation, in which 10% have done the same.
And, perhaps most importantly, why has this been happening? In our view, growth at the upper reaches of business achievement is not only a logical next step in the continued overall growth at rates exceeding the national average, there is now much more support for these mountain-climbing women - such as The Committee of 200 and the Women Presidents' Organization. Higher achieving women are now getting more visibility and recognition. While it's still not always good (strong, successful women still referred to in less-than-flattering, rhymes-with-witch terms), greater visibility provides more role models for young women, more of whom may be dreaming bigger because of the achievements of these high-flying women.
The news coverage of this exciting new report was kicked off late last week by an article in Meghan Casserly's Girl Friday column for ForbesWoman, "Women In (Big) Business: How XX-Driven $10 Million Plus Firms Could Take The Lead." More are sure to follow, as we've been chatting with a number of reporters.
In the meantime, fellow womenablers, read the report, applaud our achievements, and start spreading the news! (January 2013)
- Womenabler blog readership blossoms: The Womenabler Blog, launched by Womenable in 2009 to provide regular commentary on women's entrepreneurship and links to articles and news of interest with more commentary than a tweet or a Facebook post, has expanded its viewership tremendously over the past year. Our 2012 stats are in, and our posts have been read by several thousand viewers in 99 countries. Darn it, we were hoping to break 100!
Of course, most of our readers are located in North America or Europe, but we have readers from such countries as Bahrain, Brazil, Ghana, Myanmar, Mongolia, and Senegal.
If you use an RSS feed for news and womenabling updates, why not subscribe to our twice monthly (or so) blogposts? (January 2013)
- Simmons College hosts women's e-ship e-library: Simmons College has launched an electronic library collection of articles, research and other materials focused on high-growth women's entrepreneurship. It can be found at womens-e-library.org, and currently contains guest blogs (including a short piece from Womenable) and over 400 sources of information not only from the academic world, but from private enterprise, business media and other sources.
Currently in beta, the next phases of expansion will include multi-media entries, uploading capabilities, and a list of knowledge links. Three cheers to Simmons College for pillar-busting, hosting, and sharing these invaluable resources! (January 2013)
- NWBC annual report published: The annual report from the National Women's Business Council was issued just before the end of the year, and not only contains an abundance of statistics but a succinct set of policy recommendations, in keeping with their mandate to represent the interests of women business owners and their enterprises in federal policy-making circles.
Perhaps the most important text in the report, however, is the description of how the Council has changed its operating procedures to ensure greater continuity of operations, and their recommendations for more active engagement with respect to member nominations and closer monitoring of council member terms. Making these changes would prevent what has happened all too frequently over the past decade - the expiration of a majority of member terms at or near the same time, with a corresponding lag in re-nominations, leading to long periods of inactivity by the Council. This serves no one - not federal policymakers and certainly not the women's business community. Improving this situation could be the best thing that the NWBC has done in a long time!
To read and download the 2012 NWBC annual report, click on THIS LINK. (January 2013)
NEWS FROM MID-LATE 2012
Click on this link for the news items that appeared on Womenable.com between July and December of 2012.
NEWS FROM EARLY-MID 2012
Click on this link for the news items that appeared on Womenable.com between January and June of 2012.
NEWS FROM MID-LATE 2011
Click here to read the news items that appeared on Womenable.com between July and December 2011.
NEWS FROM EARLY-MID 2011
Click on this link for news items that appeared on Womenable.com between January and June of 2011.
NEWS FROM MID-LATE 2010
Click on the link above for news items that appeared on Womenable.com between July and December of 2010.
NEWS FROM EARLY-MID 2010
Click on this link for news items that appeared on Womenable.com between January and June of 2010.
April 02, 2013