Are You In?
If you look around, you may have noticed that a lot of your female friends and family members are also business owners – more so now than ever before. What you’ve noticed is spot-on – and it’s not an anomaly: women are starting businesses at significantly high rates.
Between 2002 and 2012, the number of women-owned business grew 57%! That’s 1,288 new businesses a day, 47% faster than the national average. When we look at that from an economic standpoint, the impact is mind-blowing. During that 10-year period, women launched 9 million businesses that generated more than $1.4 trillion, 8 million jobs for both men and women, and 175,000 new jobs for the U.S. economy since 2007.
Pretty impressive, isn’t it?
And yet, there’s a big problem. Though things look great on the surface, we’re really only good at creating businesses, not growing them.
Up until now, we have seen a lot of women launch companies that never got above the $100,000 mark in gross revenues. You might think, “What’s wrong with that?” but after 3 years of running Her Corner, I can tell you what’s wrong with that. If your business grosses $100,000 in revenues, this does not mean that you are taking home $100,000. After accounting for expenses, taxes, and other costs, the profits might be nowhere near 6 figures.
I have yet to meet a single woman business owner who wouldn’t want to be making more money. When a woman wants to grow her business, but runs into roadblocks at every turn, this is a problem. It’s a missed opportunity on an individual, community, and economic level.
Over the past year, I have been trying to understand why this is happening. Why don’t women-owned businesses grow at the same rate as men’s?
More importantly, how do we fix it?
Research from Catalyst* and American Express Open* and data from the U.S. Census* boils this problem down to 3 trends:
- Lack of collaboration. We don’t collaborate and network as well as our male counterparts, and unfortunately, those circles that many of us do network in don’t provide us with the connections we need to make meaningful progress.
- Lack of role models. A byproduct of our collaboration problem is that we aren’t in contact with other women who are succeeding in their businesses. Instead, we tend to surround ourselves with others who are in the same predicament that we’re in.
- Lack of financing. Women-owned businesses get a fraction of the funding that men do, and we’re less comfortable even discussing these options.
The trends that the research noted were consistent with what I was finding as a small business owner. And so I set out to fix them.
Three years ago, I built Her Corner to bring women business owners together so that we could help one another build our businesses. I wanted to remove the sense of isolation, increase collaboration, provide role models and drive referrals through relationships. We officially launched 2 years ago, and we have seen amazing results:
In our annual survey, 73% of our members reported growth in their businesses!
At Her Corner, we want to continue to help our members’ businesses grow, but we also want to give them more resources and tools and expand the mission of Her Corner beyond the metro Washington, D.C. area. To succeed, we need people to support and cheer us on! We can do this, but we cannot do it alone.
Today we are launching a new Community membership level that will be free and open to women anywhere in the country and around the world who have their own brand and are committed to growth in their business. The benefits are designed to help accelerate growth through:
- Free access to 3rd party vendors who provide discounts on services for business
- Collaboration tools, like industry sub-groups, to find other women in similar industries
- An easy way to promote and learn about events or promotions
But we need your help to spread the word!
As I illustrated above, the growth of women-owned businesses benefits the broader economy. More revenue. More jobs. More financial independence and security.
If you believe that together we can help women harness the same energy and innovation that they bring to opening businesses into growing them, then let people know about Her Corner. Her Corner is not only where we are helping to grow women’s businesses, but it’s also where we are changing the game.
Are you in?
Help us by telling women business owners about our FREE Community Level to give them a headstart in growing their companies!
* Sources: A Rising Tide: Financing Strategies for Women-Owned Firms, by Susan Coleman and Alicia Robb, chapter 9. The 2013 State of Women-Owned Business Report, commissioned by American Express OPEN