FRAMEWORK : Business Leadership

“Women-owned businesses will create 5 to 5.5 million jobs by 2018”

“Over the last 15 years, women-owned firms have grown by 1.5 times the rate of other small enterprises and female small business owners will create 5 to 5.5 million new jobs nationwide by 2018.”

We didn’t realize the scope of the progress women entrepreneurs were making until we spent some time with the valuable infographic “The Female Entrepreneur: Women Who Run Their World” from the USC Marshall School of Business.

The Female Entrepreneur: Women who run their world

As a female founder and CEO of a Women Business Enterprise, I found this information inspiring—it certainly increased my awareness about the “success of female entrepreneurship in the U.S.”

A good sense of recent history. Since the passing of the 1974 Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) that prohibited credit discrimination, “women have made strides in the entrepreneurial world.” In 1972, the U.S. Census numbered women-owned businesses at 402,000; in 2017, women-owned businesses number over 9 million in the U.S.

Making a difference. Women-owned businesses will “generate more than half of the 9.72 million new small business jobs expected to be created by 2018.” The magnitude of these numbers show that women are making a very large impact.

Women are worth the risk. As I learned from lending to women-owned businesses in global markets, women entrepreneurs are a good credit risk. The infographic shows women’s “overall shares of business remained stable” during the 2007—2012 downturn. Additionally, startups with at least one female founder are increasingly drawing funding.

Geographical distribution. Here in New York, I am in the minority as far as women-owned business growth. The real growth is in the west— “11 of the top 17 states for female entrepreneurs are in the west from Washington to Texas.”

Want to know more. This quick glance at the growth and impact of women-owned businesses in the last 15 years sparked my curiosity and whetted my appetite to know more—

  • Within overall growth, we’d like to know the breakout of industry sectors of the 9 million women-owned businesses in the U.S.
  • The infographic ends with brief profiles of “wildly successful female-founded companies,” yet we would like to see the overall infographic and illustrations be more representative of the diversity of age and experience among women entrepreneurs.

The infographic ends with a powerful statement:

Female entrepreneurs and executives are creating new models of leadership and providing organizations with valuable insights and solutions. Gender diversity in business provides individual benefits to women, and research suggests that it can also improve a company’s bottom line and a nation’s GDP.

 The Female Entrepreneur: Women Who Run Their World” will help you keep female entrepreneurs top of mind—for the growth of women-owned businesses, for the impact they are making, and as a reminder that there’s still a ways to go.

FRAMEWORK : Business Leadership

Economic Progress and Broad-Based Prosperity: A Global Agenda

With all the arguing and polarization about globalization, it’s refreshing to read a positive, balanced and well-considered proposal in Martin Reeves’ and Johann Harnoss’ “An Agenda for the Future of Global Business.”

The authors detail a 7-step agenda and believe that business leaders need to “visibly embrace and take action on a new agenda to shape the future.” After securing the prosperity of their own companies, CEO’s “must secure the conditions for sustained prosperity, which requires a more inclusive model for global economic integration and technological progress.”

This resonated with me as a business leader who built a global analytics function in over 30 countries and experienced several waves of globalization over two decades. 

What is the shape of this new wave of globalization?

The authors cite Jeff Immelt, former CEO of GE from his 2016 New York University commencement speech, for what this new wave could look like:

“…globalization that is less centralized, more geographically differentiated, more digitally interconnected, more cognizant of social impact, and focused on building local capabilities rather than exploiting labor cost differentials.”

Rather than accessing foreign markets and creating a low cost global supply chain, this new model is less centralized and invests in local capabilities. In this new wave, global business and its leaders will be redefined by what it means to embrace this vision of global/local.

As the authors assert: “Global businesses must advance a new credible narrative for globalization, technology, and the role of corporations – and support it with purposeful action.”

Maybe it is hard to “imagine there’s no countries.”

Certainly, though, it is possible to imagine and work towards a new, more equitable, diverse, and sustainable global economy.