Women Business Owners Making Their Mark in the 21st Century

The number of firms owned by women has grown by twice the rate of all other firms in the past ten years. Marjorie Alfus, chairperson for Women’s Business Research said, “Women business owners are significant players in the nation’s economy and their momentum shows no signs of slowing down”.

This is further supported by the Center For Women’s Business Research and their projections for 2006 that there would be 10.4 million privately held businesses in the US with women owning over half of these firms. Between the years of 1997 and 2006, the number of firms owned by women increased by up to 42%, which was almost double that of other firms, at around 23%.

The United Kingdom has also had significant growth from women in business. It is calculated that women, in a matter of three months, started 20,500 new businesses in the year 2006, which is around a 30% increase from the same time last year. Clair Logie, who is the director of the Bank of Scotland’s Women in Business Team, commented, “We are definitely seeing a huge uplift, particularly in the US, which we tend to trail here in terms of trends.”

With these staggering facts, it is safe to say that women becoming entrepreneurs is a world wide phenomenon. Home based businesses were the largest number of businesses held by women at around 56%. The Census Bureau’s director Louis Kincannon commented recently that home-based businesses collectively generated a remarkable amount of economic activity, especially for women and minorities.

More women are becoming entrepreneurs because they see the attractiveness that a home-based business has to offer them in terms of freedom and flexible working hours. No longer having to work hours dictated to them, women entrepreneurs have more time to spend with their families and to bring up their children. They enjoy more varied and meaningful tasks in their business, without the limitations and stresses associated with the glass ceiling corporate world.

Technology has definitely been a contributing factor to the development of home-based businesses. Many have been able to work from home following the introduction of computers, internet, cell phones and faxes. “The rapid acceleration of information technology has opened doors for new businesses. It has helped change the way America conducts business today by offering more choices. Many women entrepreneurs have taken advantage of these choices and created home-based businesses that have proven to be more practical, effective and convenient for their lifestyle” says Dick Falcone, AT&T Vice President of Sales for the Small Business Markets.