SBA celebrates Women’s History Month by promoting female entrepreneurship

In celebration of Women’s History Month, the U.S. Small Business Administration salutes women entrepreneurs who have taken risks in pursuit of their passions and who view setbacks or challenges as just another step to achieve something greater. Our agency and regional office, as well as our district offices throughout New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, are always here to lend a helping hand, and we do.

Nationally, women owned 12.3 million small businesses last year, or 40 percent of all ventures employing 500 or fewer individuals. According to American Express’ 2018 State of Women-Owned Businesses report, which makes its projections based on data from the most recent U.S. Census Bureau Survey of Business Owners, women are not only starting, on average, 1,821 new businesses a day, but that number is a significant uptick from the average of 952 between 2012 and 2017. In fact, the overall number of women-owned businesses surged 31 times since 1972.

Another interesting data point to consider is that women own a larger share of businesses in every minority group compared to their overall share of businesses nationally. Almost 60 percent of African-American-owned businesses and 44 percent of Hispanic-owned businesses are women-owned.

Times have no doubt changed for the better; it’s a testament to the progress we have made in our economy and as a country. Today, there are many firms and resources committed to helping women founders start and rev their economic engines. The Atlantic Region of the SBA is privileged to have many of our nation’s women-owned small business success stories right here.

In New Jersey, for example, Angela Liu’s idea to offer healthy snacks for mass consumption became the fruit of her success. As founder and CEO of Crispy Green Inc., Liu runs a small consumer goods business that produces healthy fruit snacks using freeze-dried technology. Liu took full advantage of the local resources that could help her get her small business started. She accessed SCORE mentoring to learn how to appropriately structure her business and prepare for challenges. Liu also obtained an SBA-backed $30,000 loan and a bank’s revolving line of credit. To this day, Angelia Liu credits the SBA assistance with “basically help(ing to) take Crispy Green from the startup phase to a fully functional small business.”

The SBA also invests in ventures that teach today’s learners. The tri-state area has scores of women-owned businesses success stories, and none more topical than Killer Snails, an educational STEM learning venture for schoolchildren launched by Mandë Holford, Lindsay Portnoy and Jessica Ochoa Hendrix. They worked with our Small Business Innovation Research program to fund their company, allowing technology development and ease in bringing it to market. Killer Snails is also minority- and woman-owned business certified enterprise, which has led to new opportunities as well.

While SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership empowers female entrepreneurs through advocacy, outreach, education and support, the SBA’s Atlantic Region district offices continue assisting them grow and expand. Working with our resource partners like the network of Women’s Business Centers, our SBA region is providing business training and counseling, access to credit and capital and marketing opportunities thousands of women-owned businesses. In FY 2017, WBCs supported more than 150,000 women, resulting in tremendous revenue and job growth — $1.7 billion in revenue and 17,000 new jobs. There is no question that SBA continues to make a positive difference.

This Women’s History Month, please join the SBA in celebrating all the contributions women have made toward our shared history, culture, society and business community. Female entrepreneurs drive innovation and technology in addition to placing small business on a global competitive playing field. The job creation and positive impact on our nation’s economy make it very clear that women entrepreneurs are key to America’s success.

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality for millions of Americans. As the only go-to resource and voice for small business backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. The SBA delivers services through an extensive network of field offices, located throughout ten different regions of the country. The Atlantic Region (Region II) services the states of New York and New Jersey as well as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is led by Regional Administrator Steve Bulger.