Nearly 10 million women today are innovatingâ€”starting new businesses and creating jobs. These savvy entrepreneurs are impacting the economy and creating great social value, and 14% of such businesses are controlled by black women.
In the last several decades, African American women have made undeniable progress in starting and growing their own businesses. October is considered National Womenâ€™s Small Business Month, which is a time to honor women business owners in America.
State of Women Business Owners
According to this yearâ€™s American Express OPEN State of Women-Owned Businesses report, women are starting an average of 1,072 new businesses each day. Since the recession, the number of women-owned firms has grown at a rate five times the national averageâ€”up 45%, versus the 9% increase among all businesses.
For further proof of female-owned business growth, this past March, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced the federal government met its 22-year-old goal of awarding 5% of federal contracts to women-owned businesses for the first time in history. This landmark achievement is another sign that the success of female business owners isnâ€™t slowing down any time soon.
To help sustain the momentum of African American, female-owned firms, here are seven resources to check out:
1. ACCION International
ACCION International is a global, nonprofit micro-lender dedicated to creating economic opportunity by connecting people to the financial tools they need to improve their lives. The organization also provides management, research and development, and strategic leadership services.
A partnership between American Express OPEN, the SBA, and Women Impacting Public Policy, ChallengeHER is an event providing women business owners with the opportunity to make valuable connections with government agencies and experts, as well as to learn how to grow their businesses through federal contracting.
3. 50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies Guide to Growth
Recently published by the Women Presidentâ€™s Organization and American Express, 50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies Guide to Growth is a guidebook that offers tips and tricks from successful female business owners highlighting tried and true methods.
4. Miller Lite Tap the Future
Miller Lite Tap the Future is a competition that offers up to $200,000 in grants to the winning team with the best business plan and strongestÂ pitch. Also, it provides access to business moguls and seminars throughout the six-month process.
5. Grow Her Business
The National Womenâ€™s Business Council recently launched a resource platform called Grow Her Business. It is an online searchable database of everything from accelerator programs and incubators to learning opportunities and mentors to federal grant applications.
6. Pipeline Angels
Pipeline Angels trains women to become angel investors through education, mentoring, and practice. The network also allows women entrepreneurs across the nation to present at one of its Pitch Summits, for a chance to secure capital for their businesses.
7. Womenâ€™s Business Centers
Womenâ€™s Business Centers represents a network of more than 100 educational centers designed to assist women in starting and growing small businesses. Through the management and technical assistance provided by the WBCs, entrepreneurs receive comprehensive training and counseling on a variety of topics.