Someone once explained the Catch-22 of recruiting under-represented populations of any kind this way: “you can’t be what you can’t see.”
And so it goes for women entrepreneurs across Missouri — in cities such as Fulton, Columbia, Jefferson City, Hannibal, Cape Girardeau, Joplin and others around the state.
Yes, it’s true that the number of businesses owned by women in the United States has increased 59% since 1997, according to the 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report from American Express Open, a small-business arm of the company. Those 8.6 million women-owned firms are generating more than $1.3 trillion in revenue and employing nearly 7.8 million people.
The same report ranks Missouri 41st overall for the growth in number, revenue and employment for women-owned firms.
At William Woods, we see our efforts with female MBA in Entrepreneurial Leadership degree candidates as part of a larger national and regional effort to help women see themselves as able to launch and lead businesses.
Yes, Missouri has much room for improvement. But keep in mind that we live in an age when information and networking opportunities are as close as the keyboard. Where there is a will…. Here is an example of Peruvian women who walked 10 miles to meet fellow female business owners.
Some quick links for finding real-life business owners and leaders to help you “see what you want to be.”
- Women Entrepreneurs of St. Louis (WEST)
- FAST magazine
- Entreprenuerial Heroes project at the National Center for Women and Information Technology.
- Peruvian women-owned businesses