August 13, 2015 1 Comment
Women in the business world have come a long way. Fed up with the demands and expectations of male-owned workplaces, women are leaving companies in favor of starting their own. The State of Women-Owned Business reports that as of 2014, “it is estimated that there are nearly 9.1 million women-owned businesses in the United States, generating over $1.4 trillion in revenues and employing nearly 7.9 million people,” with roughly 3 million of those businesses owned by women of color. These are exciting statistics for American women and American commerce, and they’re growing every day—but while putting more women into business is good for just about everyone, there is still a fair amount of work to be done.
Dr. Peggy Drexler, assistant professor of psychology at Cornell University, writes of businesses like the Geller Group, a law firm formed by six mothers tired of working for predominantly male offices. But Drexler points out some of the challenges women in business still face, too, arguing that a high percentage of those women-owned businesses can’t gross more than $50,000 a year in revenue, up to 88%, Drexler says, don’t even have employees.
While many women leave companies because those companies don’t seem to value progressive gender roles or gender equality, women are still generally expected to be the ones who take care of families while their male counterparts earn money. The problems facing women-owned businesses, Drexler says, won’t end until gender roles can be fully dismantled in the home. An article by Kabbage points out some of the reasons that women are being disproportionately turned down for small business loans, including lack of collateral, low cash revenues, or perceived lack of preparation. Luckily, there are some other options.
Entrepreneur provides a list of grants available to women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses. The article offers tips for applying to these grants, many of which are lucrative, like the Huggies Brand Mom-Inspired Grant, which awards up to $15,000 to advance innovative products, or the InnovateHER awards $30,000 to three winners.
Though women in business still have many hurdles to overcome in the fight for fairness and equality, grants like these and the support that comes from them are essential to the growth of their companies and to commerce as a whole.