October is Women’s Small Business Month, making now a perfect time to highlight accomplishments of women entrepreneurs and small business owners across the nation.
About 150 Women’s Business Centers across the nation are designed to assist women in starting and growing small businesses. They provide training, mentoring, counseling, and access to capital for one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy: women business owners.
In 2017, centers reached more than 145,000 clients and conducted over 93,000 hours of counseling and more than 15,000 training sessions. In 2015, Women’s Business Centers created 23,471 new jobs.
Why are centers focused specifically on women important? Today, women own more than 35 percent of all businesses and are starting new ventures at four times the rate of men. The most recent data indicates there are more than 11 million women-owned businesses employing 9 million Americans and generating $1.6 trillion in receipts.
It takes courage, ambition, and ingenuity to start your own business, and all the women entrepreneurs out there possess these qualities. Women’s Business Centers have helped many of these talented entrepreneurs turn their dreams of starting a business into reality.
Small businesses are the engines that drive America’s growth, and women are just beginning to leave their footprint in this sector of the economy. With the continued support of Women’s Business Centers across the country, their impact will surely grow.
Kim Preston is Women’s Business Center director, Center for Rural Affairs. Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, non-profit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues.