We’ve Come A Long Way Baby
Mary Wells, the founding President of ad agency, Wells, Rich, Greene and the first female CEO of a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange said it when she created the Virginia Slims cigarette campaign in 1968 that states, “You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby.” That’s how I feel today. It’s hard to believe that when I started my business in 1992, it was just four years earlier in 1988, that President Reagan signed the Women’s Business Ownership Act into law creating government support for women business owners and eliminating the requirement of male co-signers on loans for female entrepreneurs. Of course, there were women-owned business prior to that time, but the discrimination women endured to secure a business loan was archaic. I was naïve at that time and didn’t need a loan to start my business, but ultimately needed one a few years later to grow. I found out many women had issues getting loans, but I was lucky. I had great credit and because of my Chamber connections was able to secure a good line of unsecured credit. I am glad women can now get loans to start and grow their businesses on their own.
Then And Now
As I looked back to 1992, I found out there were around 6.4 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. According to the Commerce Department’s Census Bureau report from that year, that figure represented one-third of all domestic firms and 40% of all retail and service firms. The report also showed that women-owned businesses generated $1.6 trillion in business revenues and employed 13.2 million people.
Today, there are roughly 12.3 million women-owned business in the U.S. The revenue generated by these businesses is around $1.8 trillion annually. And according to statistics women control $20 trillion in annual spending. https://appsthatdeliver.com/insights/women-in-business-statistics
I am proud to be contributing to the economic growth of the country and to be an example for women who continue to dive into and thrive in the business world.
Certification For Women-Owned Businesses Provided Another Historic Step Forward
1995 saw another step forward for women in business. The National Women Business Owners Corporation (NWBOC) became the first organization to create a national certification program for women-owned businesses. a powerful network of resources for business development and access to new opportunities. NWBOC helps its certified members to scale, become more sustainable – and ultimately more procurement ready – to do business with government and private sectors.
While I am a certified woman-owned business, and this has helped open doors I might not otherwise have been invited to step through, I only applied for certification 18 years ago. By that time, I already had a solid client list and reputation. While that certification to date has not been a large source of business opportunities, I am happy to be a part of an organization that has the backs of women, minorities, and veterans. The basic qualifications for certification are that you be a small business according to SBA size standards, be at least 51% owned and controlled by women who are U.S. citizens, and have women manage day-to-day operations who also make long-term decisions.
Time Flies When You’re Having Fun
Where does the time go? Often it seems like I just started my business a few years ago. But how it got to be 30 years is beyond me! I feel as excited today as I did in the early days when helping my clients solve their marketing problems and challenges. Despite the tough times we’ve just come through with our heads still above water, and many others over the years, I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing. I shared in this month’s blog that my parent’s thought I was crazy when I started my business. They have watched me navigate the ups and the downs and land on my feet numerous times. They are as proud of me as any parents could be. (You can read the blog here I’m Turning 30),
To each of my clients, a heartfelt thank you for your business and trust in me. It has been and continues to be my greatest pleasure and honor to serve you.