Women’s entrepreneurship is thriving in America. According to the 2018 State of Women-Owned Business report commissioned by American Express, 1,821 women-owned businesses were launched per day over the last year, bringing the total number of women-owned firms to 12.3 million, employing over 9 million people and accounting for $1.8 trillion in revenue. So, in these last few days of October, as we wind down the celebration of National Women’s Small Business Month, we are still reminded of the tremendous contributions women business owners have made to the global economy, but also charged with challenging the antiquated mindsets and inadequate policies that still plague our cause.
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Every entrepreneur has his or her reasons for starting a business. As noted in our recent Entrepreneurship In America 2018 report, the “why” ranges from the pursuit of greater independence to leaving behind a family legacy. For me, as co-founder of ThinkNow, I knew there was a better way to gather meaningful insights on hard-to-reach audiences but needed the freedom to do it. The challenges I faced in starting a business, however, are specific to me. It would be a mistake to assume that my experience is reflective of those had by entrepreneurs of different social, ethnic, gender or geographic groups.
Women and Minorities Report Greater Obstacles to Starting Businesses Historically, small businesses in the U.S. have fueled the economic engine by supplying a steady stream of new jobs. However, in recent years, new business birth rates have slowed prompting the Kaufman Foundation to declare that startup rates are “half of what they were a decade ago.” This is surprising because the U.S. is seen as a global leader in entrepreneurship. Americans have created whole new industries from scratch through the courage, determination and skill of generations of risk takers. Is America at risk of losing this status? Perhaps, but why? It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact reasons for the overall decline in entrepreneurship in America.
By now, many marketers have heard of the tremendous opportunities the United States. Hispanic consumer represents in terms of numbers and purchasing power. However, in the age of hypersegmentation and targeting, Millennials and bi-cultural Hispanics have risen to the top of marketer’s go-to Hispanic sub-segments. While most companies focus on this target, there is an untapped consumer segment that has serious growth potential, Hispanic business owners.
Since we’ve launched our Minority Owned B2B Online Panel, I’ve heard that question a lot. What’s so different about minority-owned businesses that we need a separate panel for them? There’s an assumption that your client doesn’t need to include minority-owned business sample in their research because the standard B2B sample fairly represents the business landscape. That’s simply untrue. Minority-owned businesses certainly share similarities with general market businesses. However, minority business owners face unique challenges that may have a negative impact on their ability to fully scale their businesses.