Back in January I started working on a little piece about the growing movement of women starting businesses. That “little” piece kept growing as I gathered more stats and quotes and listened to women entrepreneurs from all over the place tell me their stories following the release of my book. Forbes published the piece on Friday and with thousands of “likes” and “shares” all over the web it looks like I hit a chord! Below is an excerpt of the piece.
A quiet revolution is taking shape right now among women. Unlike the Quiet Revolution that began in the 1970s which saw women leave the home and enter the workforce in droves, women today are leaving the workforce in droves in favor of being at home.
But unlike generations of women before, these women are opting to work in the home not as homemakers—but as job-making entrepreneurs.
Women have been starting businesses at a higher rate than men for the last 20 years and tend to create home-based micro (less than 5 employees) and small businesses. Women will create over half of the 9.72 million new small business jobs expected to be created by 2018 and more and more are doing this from home offices across the country. It’s a surprising statistic, especially considering that women-owned businesses only created 16 percent of total U.S. jobs that existed in 2010.
It’s the data released this week though by the National Federation of Independent Business about how women entrepreneurs fared during the recession that really cements that this is a revolution with staying power.
The recession was tough for many small business owners and nearly half of women-owned businesses still haven’t been able to climb back to pre-recession sales, but they persevered and adapted to a new economy. Controlling costs was the most popular strategy adopted among women entrepreneurs to get through the recession and there was a 52% increase in the number of women entrepreneurs using social media to boost business while saving on marketing costs.
“The result…is a new cohort of women-owned businesses, battle-tested and more competitive than the generation that preceded them,” says William Dennis in the report. With more women starting businesses and succeeding there’s an opportunity to reshape the working landscape.
With job satisfaction and work environment satisfaction at an all-time low, something needs to change and this could be a step in the right direction.
Let me make it very clear here: I’m not saying women are better or that women starting more businesses means the world is all rainbows and butterflies. Women just do things differently in the world of business and different should be welcomed.