Women Flexing Their Economic Muscle

by Dorothy Wolden

Dorothy Wolden President NAWBO-Phoenix 2014-2015 Gravity Web + Design 130 N. Central Avenue, Ste. 301 Phoenix, AZ 85004 602-258-1300 phone 480-220-7293 cell dwolden@gravityphx.com www.gravityphx.com Years in Business: 12 Years in NAWBO: 	5

Dorothy Wolden
NAWBO-Phoenix 2014-2015

A recent report by American Express OPEN shows that there are now 9.1 million women-owned businesses in the United States. These firms generate more than $1.4 trillion in revenue and employ more than 7.8 million people, according to the report. In terms of growth in combined economic clout, Arizona is ranked fourth. The statistics of the success of women-owned and -led businesses are undeniable, but there is still plenty of work to be done.

The number of women-owned firms continues to grow at a rate exceeding the national average, yet women-owned firms only employ 6 percent of the nation’s workforce and contribute just under 4 percent of business revenues — roughly the same share they contributed in 1997. The real issue at hand is not getting more women to start business, but rather providing support to women who are already in business to enable them to grow their enterprises to the next level.

Imagine the economic impact if more of these ventures were transformed into thriving businesses. This is why NAWBO remains so passionately dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs become successful business owners.

Here are some great reasons you should support women-owned businesses:

  1. Women have the right stuff – Women make better leaders than men, according to research conducted by Zenger Folkman. “They build better teams; they’re more liked and respected as managers; they tend to be able to combine intuitive and logical thinking more seamlessly; they’re more aware of the implications of their own and others’ actions; and they think more accurately about the resources needed to accomplish a given outcome,” said Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman in Forbes.
  2. The proof is in the pudding: A report by Dow Jones VentureSource finds that women deliver better company performance. Venture-backed companies where females are the senior executives are more likely to succeed than companies with only men in charge, according to Women at the Wheel: Do Female Executives Drive Start-Up Success?. VC firms that invest in women-led businesses performed better than all men-led businesses, according to the SBA Office of Advocacy.
  3. Diversity improves performance and increases innovation: Organizations that are the most inclusive of women in top management achieve 35 percent higher return on equity (ROE) and 34 percent better total return to shareholders versus their peers — and research shows gender diversity to be particularly valuable where innovation is key, according to research conducted by Illuminate Ventures.
  4. Untapped spending power: With 80 percent of consumer spending controlled by women, and women having considerable influence on spending categories that are considered the domain of men, such as autos and electronics, that is a whole lot of purchasing power for products and services.
  5. Women never stop learning: Every entrepreneur I know has built a successful business by admitting that you don’t know everything — and never will. That is the way to growth. Interestingly, self-development is one of those areas in which women outshine men, according to Zenger Folkman’s research.

Hopefully, I’ve laid out some valid reasons to support women-owned businesses. In the previous pages we have highlighted NAWBO Phoenix members and corporate partners that are thriving women-owned businesses in our community. Please enjoy getting to know them and contact them for the products and services they provide.

Wishing you continued success,

Dorothy Wolden

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