There has been remarkable growth in the number of women of color business owners—and this figure is poised to increase as the women of color population grows. From 1997 to 2013, the number of female-owned firms in the United States grew by 59 %—one-and-a-half times the national average. A closer look at the statistics shows that women of color are the catalyst behind this growth:
• African American women-owned businesses grew by 258 %.
• Latina women-owned businesses grew by 180 %.
• Asian American women-owned businesses grew by 156 %.
• Native American and Alaska Native women-owned businesses grew by 108%.
• Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander women-owned businesses grew by 216%.
There were 944,000 Latina women running their own businesses in 2013, 620,300 Asian American and Pacific Islander, or AAPI, female-owned businesses, and 1,119,400 African American female-owned businesses. Much of this growth has been concentrated in states and cities with large populations of women of color, such as California, Florida, New York, and Texas.
• Census projections predict that women of color will make up the majority of women by 2045. In fact, while white women will make up 62 % of the female population in 2015, their numbers are projected to fall to 47 % of the female population in 2050, when 53 % of all women will be women of color.
• As our nation grows increasingly diverse, the contributions of women of color in the economy also stand to grow. Furthermore, African American women are both the fastest-growing segment of the women-owned-business population and the largest share of female business owners among women of color, at 13 %.
• African American women are starting businesses at a rate six times the national average, and their 2.7 million firms are currently generating $226.8 billion in annual revenue and employing almost 1.4 million people.
A 2009 Center for Women’s Business Research study found that the 8 million U.S. businesses that are majority owned by women had an economic impact of $3 trillion annually that translated into the creation and/or maintenance of more than 23 million jobs, a total that made up 16 % of all U.S. jobs.
The need to expand access to these important markets and to become a business partner of choice for them is imperative to the growth and success of any company. As many companies strive to offer Employer of Choice initiatives for employees, the key balanced ingredient continues to be Diversity initiatives in order to stimulate an increasing global economy. How is your organization positioned to meet the growing demands of this market?
Women are still greatly underrepresented in the highly-competitive markets. The more an organization can take stock of their own underrepresented talent and put into place systemic processes that help achieve organizational balance to these numbers; the more likely the organization will create a platform to connect with their customers (both internal and external) & drive overall engagement.
Another method to help meet the need of this market is to create partnerships and mentor - protégé programs that help connect female entrepreneurs with media outlets that provide online networking opportunities through virtual resources.
Women are emerging more and more as a serious force to be reckoned with in business and entrepreneurship. Women-owned businesses are driving economic growth, innovation and change in the landscape of our world. These business owners create new employment opportunities (1 in 3 new jobs will be generated by Women-Owned companies by 2018), they put people to work (8.9 million in fact), create taxpayers ($290 billion in total U.S. payroll) and drive global expansion.
Ensure that your organization is meeting the demands of this growing population, which can in turn, make a huge difference in a new business’s success and that of your organizational strategy and position.