By: Shannon Mantaro
Woman-owned businesses continue to be a growing force in the United States economy. According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, there are an estimated 9.4 million businesses that are owned by women and have an economic impact of $1.5 trillion in sales and account for nearly 8 million jobs. These staggering numbers are likely to continue to grow.
- Woman-owned firms account for 31 percent of all privately held firms and contribute 14 percent of employment and 12 percent of revenues;
- 2.9 million firms are majority owned by women of color and employ 1.4 million people and generate $226 billion in revenues annually;
- One in five firms with revenue of $1 million or more are woman-owned; and
- 4.2 percent of all woman-owned firms have revenues of $1 million or more
In Texas, there are an estimated 2.3 million privately held businesses of which 866,678, or 38 percent, are owned by women. Texas is ranked second only to California for the number of woman-owned businesses in the U.S., and our goal is to become No. 1.
From restaurants and retail operations to manufacturing, medical, law and real estate offices, businesses owned and operated by women are thriving in Denton County. According to the U.S. census, out of 63,243 businesses in Denton County, 22,404 (35 percent) are owned by women —comparable to the number of woman-owned businesses on a statewide level.
One resource available to women seeking to expand or start a new business in the Denton area is Texas Woman’s University’s Center for Women in Business. The center was initiated in 2015, and its primary goal is to provide leadership opportunities to specifically encourage and support women’s business ownership and success.
The Center for Women in Business provides students and entrepreneurs in the community access to resources for business creation and ownership, engagement and mentorship with current business owners, and entrepreneurial leadership educational opportunities. The center also offers various workshops and one-on-one business counseling for those in the Denton area interested in starting or expanding a business.
In addition to awarding 40 scholarships to TWU students interested in opening businesses following graduation, the center has worked with more than 100 businesses and prospective entrepreneurs, facilitated internship opportunities to female business owners, sponsored Dallas Women’s Foundation research focused on the economic issues for women in Texas, and compiled research highlighting the importance of woman-owned businesses to the economy.
Most recently, the center hosted a one-day Disney Institute professional development course, “Disney’s Approach to Business Excellence,” designed to help area professionals begin to understand the power of leadership values, discover how customer loyalty can be established, and gain insight into how organizational culture is strengthened. The event was attended by 135 participants and featured business insights and examples from Disney parks and resorts worldwide.
While it is exciting and encouraging to see such tremendous growth in woman-owned businesses in the nation, the state and right here in Denton, we must continue to support, empower and invest in woman-owned entrepreneurial ventures, as women clearly are critical to economic growth and sustainability impacting all of us.