By Cathy Musselman, Entrepreneur Coach
Just 40 years ago, most women who owned their own businesses, sold Avon, Tupperware or provided domestic services. Today’s women are not limited just to these “gender related” businesses but now have many choices to own and operate any type of business, big and small.
A recent study led by the Center for Women’s Business Research (2012 Annual Report) took an in-depth look at the economic impact of privately held women-owned businesses at least 50 % ownership. According to the study, those businesses employed 23 million people, nearly double of the number of employees of the 50 largest companies in the U.S. combined.
According to the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), more than 9.1 million businesses in the U.S. are owned by women and generate $1.4 trillion in sales. One in five firms with revenue of $1 million or more is woman-owned.
Statistics have also reported that since 2008, the only businesses that have provided a net increase in employment are large, publicly traded corporations and privately held majority women-owned firms. All other businesses have shown a decline over the past six years.
The Small Business Administration offers a certification program for Women Owned Small Business (WOSB). The purpose of this certification is to recognize small businesses where a woman has majority ownership to have the ability to submit an offer on a solicitation for business with the government. With the WOSB certification, women business owners will have recognition by thousands of major U.S. corporations and federal, state and local government entities for contract set-aside work.
How does one become a Certified WOSB you ask? Inc.com has an excellent article, “How to Become a Certified Woman-Owned Business” by Tamara Schweitzer. Also visit the U.S. Small Business Administration site for information on Contracting with Women-Owned Small Business.