Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Commentary: Women Business Owners Continue to Break Down Barriers

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Commentary: Women Business Owners Continue to Break Down Barriers

Article excerpt

Women entrepreneurs have been breaking down barriers on their way to fueling the American economy and a recent study conducted by the Center for Women's Business Research helps to underline the economic power of women business owners.

The study, titled "Removing the Boundaries: The Continued Progress and Achievement of Women-Owned Enterprises," takes an in- depth look at the characteristics of for-profit, active women-owned U.S. firms, focusing on growth and financial strength. Findings revealed by the study include:

* The number of women-owned firms with 100 or more employees increased by 43.9 percent between December 1997 and December 2000. This is 68 percent faster than all businesses who broke the "100- employee mark" during the same period.

It is reassuring to know that women-owned businesses in this category are outpacing the growth rate of comparable businesses. I have the privilege of talking with many of these types of women entrepreneurs on a regular basis and I look forward to sharing this information with them. But, I will guarantee that they won't stop their work to take time to pat themselves on the back. They're too busy growing their companies.

* The number of women-owned firms with $1 million or more in revenues has grown by 31.6 percent from 1997 to 2000, nearly twice the rate of all other comparable firms.

This is indeed impressive. Women entrepreneurs are continually discovering their strengths and showing the rest of the world that they are just as business-savvy as other business owners, maybe even more so in some instances.

* Women-owned firms continue to be just as financially strong and creditworthy as the average U.S. firm. On three separate measures - bill payment, financial stress and overall creditworthiness - there is no difference in the scores of women-owned firms and the average U.S. firm.

While this information comes as no surprise to the millions of women who own their own business, it is unfortunate that many lenders and capital investment firms have not caught on.

Women continue to face hurdles when it comes to obtaining proper financing to help grow their businesses. …

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