Women-owned businesses continue to fuel the economy and now represent 42% of all businesses — nearly 13 million — employing 9.4 million workers and generating revenue of $1.9 trillion. According to the annual State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, commissioned by American Express, in 2019, these U.S. women with diverse ethnic and geographic backgrounds started an average of 1,817 new businesses per day in the U.S. between 2018 and 2019, down only slightly from the record-setting 2018 number of 1,821.
The annual report, based on the U.S. Census Bureau data adjusted by Gross Domestic Product data, found that women-owned businesses continue to trend above all businesses.
Check the below listed points to understand the trend of the past five years:
- The number of women-owned businesses increased 21%, while all businesses increased only 9%.
- Total employment by women-owned businesses rose at 8%, while for all businesses the increase was far lower at 1.8%.
- Total revenue for women-owned businesses also rose slightly above all businesses: 21% compared to 20%,
According to Courtney Kelso, Senior Vice President of American Express, the face of entrepreneurship is evolving to include all women, regardless of demographics. Even more impressive is that women are starting businesses on their own terms – whether it be their full-time focus or a part-time activity. The economic impact of women-owned businesses is undeniable, from the trillions they contribute via revenue to the millions of jobs they provide.
Over the last five years, growth in the number of women sidepreneurs has grown at a rate that is nearly twice as fast as the overall growth in female entrepreneurship: 39% compared to 21%, respectively. Minority women are responsible for a large portion of that growth from 2014-2019 where we see sidepreneurship among minority women-owned businesses two times higher than all businesses: 65% compared to 32%, respectively.
When looking at specific minority groups over the last five years, growth inside entrepreneurship is up:
- 99% among African American women
- 70% among Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander women
- 63% for Asian American women
- 46% for Latina/Hispanic women
- 36% among Native American/Alaska Native businesswomen
The Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), in collaboration with American Express, in July 2020, released the 13th annual ranking of the 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies. The companies on this year’s 50 Fastest list span a range of industries, including healthcare, technology, and consulting. From January to December of 2019, the 50 Fastest generated a combined $3.8 billion in revenue and collectively employed more than 17,000 people.
The top three awardees are:
- TKT & Associates, Inc. is the fastest growing woman-owned business, moving up from the number two spot last year. Founded in 2006 by the late Tierra Kavanaugh, the Louisville-based company saw its revenue flourish ($134,763,762 in 2019) and employment more than double from 51 employees in 2017 to 260 in 2019.
- Enspire Energy, an energy marketing company based in Virginia is the second fastest growing women-owned business. Run by Mary Hensley and Julie Hashagen, the company credits its success to vast industry experience and knowledge as they continue to see tremendous business growth.
- Lifestyle brand Modere, a newcomer to the list, is the third fastest-growing company in the 2020 rankings. Led by Asma Ishaq, the business saw impressive revenue and hiring growth. Modere has made a lasting impact in the health and wellness space by creating unique opportunities for emerging product categories.
The 50 Fastest companies had honored during the digital WPO Annual Conference on July 22- 23, 2020. As part of the digital conference, American Express hosted a fireside chat moderated by Vice President and General Manager, Marketing Strategy, Content and Experiences at American Express Jessica Ling, on July 23rd. The panel had discussed feature 50 Fastest Awardees Asma Ishaq of Modere, Patricia Bible of KaTom Restaurant Supply Inc., Jenelle Coy of Spero and Sujata Stead of OET, who had shared insights and advice for WPO members looking to grow their businesses.
The 2020 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies include:
|1||Tierra Kavanaugh Wayne||TKT & Associates, Inc.||Louisville, KY|
|2||Mary Hensley & Julie Hashagen||Enspire Energy||Chesapeake, VA|
|3||Asma Ishaq||Modere||Springville, UT|
|4||Amrita Grewal||TalEx||Washington DC|
|5||Christine Meyer||Battaglia Associates, Inc.||New Castle, DE|
|6||Brooke Castillo||The Life Coach School||Allen, TX|
|7||Jenelle Coy||Spero||Washington, D.C.|
|8||Stacey Rock||Solvix Solutions LLC||Marlton, NJ|
|9||Phyllis Newhouse||Xtreme Solutions Inc||Atlanta, GA|
|10||Patricia Bible||KaTom Restaurant Supply, Inc||Kodak, TN|
|11||Ranjini Poddar||Artech LLC||Morristown, NJ|
|12||Elizabeth A. Bassan||Panagora Group||Silver Spring, MD|
|13||Melissa Cooper||Phoenix Development||Boston, MA|
|14||Lenora Payne||Technology Group Solutions, LLC||Lenexa, KS|
|15||Sujata Stead||OET||Melbourne, VIC|
|16||Carmen Nazario||ELYON International, Inc.||Vancouver, WA|
|17||Cassandra Farrington||Marijuana Business Daily||Lakewood, CO|
|18||Katie Conovitz||twelveNYC||Brooklyn, NY|
|19||Kara Trott||Quantum Health||Columbus, OH|
|20||Elisa Hamill & Margot Langstaff||LifeHealth LLC||Littleton, CO|
|21||Jacqueline Mulrooney||J P Systems, Inc.||Clifton, VA|
|22||Mary Zarafshar Heydarian & Margie Zarafshar||Advanced Computer Concepts||McLean, VA|
|23||Kristi Alford-Haarberg||E2 Optics, LLC||Englewood, CO|
|24||Beverly Mullikin||CTD Staffing LLC||Memphis, TN|
|25||Tracy Gregorio||G2 Ops, Inc.||Virginia Beach, VA|
|26||Mary Kariotis||Merrimak Capital Company LLC||Novato, CA|
|27||Vanessa Kruze||Kruze Consulting||San Francisco, CA|
|28||Kelly Ireland||CB Technologies Inc.||Orange, CA|
|29||Rebecca Cenni-Leventhal||Atrium||New York, NY|
|30||Ann Ramakumaran||Ampcus Inc||Chantilly, VA|
|31||Michele Perry||Relatient||Franklin, TN|
|32||Vanessa Ogle||Enseo||Richardson, TX|
|33||Gail Adinamis||GlobalCare Clinical Trials, LLC||Bannockburn, IL|
|34||Lei Wang||The Lotus Group LLC||Pine Brook, NJ|
|35||Jessica E Meyers||JEM Group, LLC||Harrisburg, PA|
|36||Debbie Madden||Stride Consulting||New York, NY|
|37||Michelle Baker||Swoon||Chicago, IL|
|38||Jo Ann Gilley||Overture Promotions||Waukegan, IL|
|39||Merrilee Kick||Buzzballz, LLC dba Southern Champion||Carrollton, TX|
|40||Claudia Mirza||Akorbi||Plano, TX|
|41||Prathiba Ramadoss||Business Integra Technology Solutions, Inc.||Bethesda, MD|
|42||Connie Costner||Mathand, Inc.||Woodstock, GA|
|43||Pamela Stanczewski||Central Point Partners||Westerville, OH|
|44||Cindy Gallo||Fiber Business Solutions Group Inc.||Fairview Village, PA|
|45||Hima Kolanagireddy||ASCII Group, LLC||Farmington, MI|
|46||Katie Anderson||Save Water Co||Houston, TX|
|47||Dao Jensen||Kaizen Technology Partners||San Francisco, CA|
|48||Donna B Gibb||ProTask, Inc.||Reston, VA|
|49||Carol Duncan & Ashley Duncan||General Sheet Metal||Clackamas, OR|
|50||Nataliya Anon||Svitla Systems||Corte Madera, CA|
Women in business still face particular obstacles in the marketplace, most notably credit access and clients who, at the end of the day, just prefer doing business with men. However, this hasn’t stopped these women. The future for women-owned businesses is full of opportunity and optimism. And the small sample here of incredibly successful women represent the rich diversity of these women and the many women coming up behind them as their legacy.