Women Entrepreneurs in Business While women still face an uphill battle when it comes to breaking the corporate glass ceiling, many women are finding success these days as entrepreneurs, building their own businesses without those ceilings to hold them down. The growth rate of women-owned businesses has climbed steadily, even as they continue to face challenges with getting the financing and other assistance they need to succeed. However, there’s no doubt that women entrepreneurs are, as a group, innovative and highly successful. Look at women in business today, and you see a distinct new generation of Entrepreneurs. They are experienced, educated and have an appetite for growth. ” – Julie Weeks, Director of Research, Center for Women’s Business Research. The 90’s marked the start of the phenomenal growth rate of businesses started by and owned by women. In an a report released by the Center for Women’s Business Research the latest data reported in “Key Facts about Women-Owned Business-a 2007 Update” shows that for the past two decades majority women-owned firms have continued to grow at around two times the rate of all other firms.

Between 1997 and 2006 the number of privately held firms by women of color grew five times faster than all private held firms. Women-owned firms account for 41% of all privately held firms, employed more than 12. 8 million people and generate $1. 9 trillion in sales. Three percent of all women-owned firms have revenues of $1 million or more compared with 6% of men-owned firms. Women-owned firms with revenues of $1 million or more are more likely to market their products and services nationally. The largest share of women-owned firms is in the service sector. More than two-thirds (69. %) of these firms (5. 3 million) are in services; 14. 4% (1. 1 million) are in the retail trade; and 7. 7% (0. 6 million) are in real estate, rental and leasing. From 1997 to 2006, the greatest growth among 51% or more women-owned firms has been in • Wholesale Trade (283. 4% growth) • Health Care and Social Assistance Service (130. 0% growth) • Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Services (82. 7% growth) As of 2006 there are an estimated 312,840 privately held women-owned firms in Georgia, generating nearly $56 billion in sales and employing 334,713 people.

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These firms account for 38. 9% of all privately held firms in the state. Between 1997 and 2006 the center estimates that the number of these firms in Georgia increased by 85. 0%, employment grew by 9. 4% and sales increased by 12. 9%. The motivating factors for starting a business can vary. People want to be their own boss. Most places of employment do not supply that dream job that you have always wanted; the easiest way to achieve it is to create it. Women have turned employment dissatisfaction and being laid off or out of work as a motivating factor to open their own businesses.

Technology has become such an essential part of business and has allowed small businesses more competitive with big businesses. With the changes of the times, women have become more outspoken, assertive and more confident. The things that women-owned businesses who have reached 1 million or more in sales, accredit for their successes are planning for growth, setting goals, selling to other businesses, constant upgrade of their skills, and bringing in business partners. Successful businesses don’t just communicate with prospects and customers for special sales.

Making your company unavoidable is a vital key to marketing success. There have been numerous Women Entrepreneurs that have found success. Some examples of Famous Women Entrepreneurs are Oprah Winfrey, Mary Kay Ash, Madame Walker, Coco Chanel, Estee Lauder and Debbi Fields. Each one of these women in her own way has charted a course that anyone can follow with a little hard work and determination. Oprah Winfrey began her career in broadcasting at age 17 at radio station WVOL. By 19, she was anchoring the news at WTFV-TV, both the first African-American woman and the youngest person ever to do so.

In 1984, Oprah relocated to Chicago to host AM Chicago. Within just one month, it had surpassed Donahue as the #1 local talk show, and within a year it was renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show. It has remained the number one talk show for 18 seasons, has won dozens of Emmys, and is seen by an estimated 30 million viewers a week in the United States and is broadcast internationally in 111 countries. Not content to work for someone else, in 1988, Oprah founded her own production facility, Harpo Studios. Since then, it has grown into Harpo, Inc. which employs around 250 full-time people in television and film production, magazine publishing, and online media. Although she’s a billionaire (the first black woman to achieve it) with a long list of business accomplishments and awards, Oprah told Fortune Magazine, “I don’t think of myself as a businesswoman. But by most people’s accounts, she’s the most powerful woman in the entertainment industry. Mary Kay Ash, the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics created a business that has helped some half a million women fulfill their dreams of business ownership.

A best-selling author and powerful motivational speaker, Lifetime Television named her the Most Outstanding Woman in Business in the 20th Century. With her life savings of $5,000 and the help of her 20-year-old son, Mary Kay opened her first store in Dallas, Texas in 1963. Mary Kay Inc. started with just nine independent beauty consultants. She based the company’s philosophy strongly on her Christian faith. She told her people to prioritize their life with God first, family second, and work third.

With this as her guiding practice she has encouraged women and given them new opportunities for their own personal and financial success. Fortune magazine recognized Mary Kay Inc. with inclusion in “The 100 best companies to work for in America. ” The company was also named one of the best 10 companies for women to work. Her most recent recognitions were the “Equal Justice Award” from Legal Services of North Texas in 2001, and “Most Outstanding Woman in Business in the 20th Century” from Lifetime Television in 1999.

The daughter of former slaves, orphaned at the age of seven, Madame Walker built a thriving beauty products business in the early 20th century, eventually employing over 3,000 people. Her hard work, honest business dealings and quality products led her to become the first self-made female African-American millionaire. Coco Chanel was one of the major innovators of 20th century fashion, introducing elements from menswear and sports apparel into women’s fashion to create a distinctively simple, yet elegant style. Her signature fragrance, Chanel No. , was the first perfume to bear the designer’s name. Launched in 1923, it is still one of the best-selling fragrances in the world. The daughter of immigrants, Estee Lauder is the embodiment of the American Dream. She started out selling skin creams created by her uncle, but with persistence and personality, she worked her way into the cosmetics counters of department stores. She developed a personalized selling style that put her brand at the top of the industry, with a 45% share of the cosmetics market in U. S. department stores.

A little business that sells in 118 countries and last year grew to be $3. 6 billion big in sales. The Lauder family’s shares are worth more than $6 billion. At age 20, Debbi Fields was a housewife with no business experience, but a great chocolate chip cookie recipe and a dream. Today, Mrs. Fields Cookies is one of the world’s most recognizable dessert franchises, with over 600 stores in the U. S. and ten other countries. More than 25 years of entrepreneurial, operational and managerial experience, all of it earned in a company she built (literally) from scratch.

Founder, baker, chief cookie lover and former Chairman, of Mrs. Fields Cookies, a $450 million company she founded in 1977. There is a lot of help out there for women in business. The government has several organizations that are focused on women business owners. The National Women’s Business Council is a bi-partisan federal advisory council that serves as an independent policy advisor to the President, Congress, and the Small Business Administration on economic issues of importance to women business owners.

The office of Women’s Business Ownership is a part of the SBA. OWBO offers business training and technical assistance programs; provides access to credit and capital, federal contracts and international trade opportunities and provides a nationwide network of mentoring roundtables. The SBA has given over 2. 4 billion in loans to women in business. Women-21. gov is a joint effort of the Department of Labor the SBA and other partners. It brings together resources, articles news and networking opportunities. Womenbiz. ov is a gateway for women-owned businesses selling to the government. The future of small business looks bright. Legislation enacted by Congress in May of 2007 included provisions for cutting taxes for small businesses by 4 billion over the next 10 years, including allowing small businesses more generous deductions for investing in new equipment. The Economic Stimulus bill doubles the amount small business can immediately write off of their taxes for investments in plants and equipment made in 2008 from 125 thousand