October is considered National Women in Small Business Month, celebrating individuals who currently own a business and encouraging those who wish to in the future. Females earning a business administration degree or general business degree online can help level the playing field, as today women only own 30 percent of small businesses.
Twenty-five years ago, Hedy Ratner started the Women’s Business Development Center in Chicago, and at the time only 10 percent of businesses were owned by women. Ratner told Reuters that she hoped more women would have owned businesses by now, but progress isn’t taken lightly. Her organization offers training, mentorship and funding for women who are trying to start and grow their own businesses.
According to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, 7.8 million women owned a company in 2007, and 90 percent of those were small businesses. Bill Joubert, the Center Director for the Louisiana Small Business Development Center, said that the amount of women-owned business are growing 40-45 percent faster than male startups. However, he also noted that women often start off smaller and invest less than men in the beginning.
"Women can come in and borrow $20-$30-$50,000 to start a company and they'll be successful," Joubert told WorldNow. "Men on the other hand ... I guess it might be an ego thing but they want to go borrow a million dollars and start a company and they can be very successful. The success rates are almost the same but the men tend to use more capitalization and their companies are bigger. Women-owned companies are very nimble. They are profitable and competitive."
In Columbus, Ohio, a nonprofit called Women’s Small Business Accelerator features 35 units for women to rent at an inexpensive rate. Prices range from $225 to $550 per month and include WiFi utilities and onsite mentoring programs.