All Articles Tagged "women owned business"
The 2013 State of Women Owned Business Report, produced by American Express OPEN, shows that the number of women-owned businesses across the country has gone up 59 percent since 1997. But even more impressive, the number of female entrepreneurs launching their own businesses has more than doubled in that same time period, jumping 112 percent.
The Athens Banner-Herald takes a closer look at the trend in that state, finding that the new female lifestyle is playing role. Women are waiting longer to get married and start a family, leaving more time to launch a business when they’re younger. But women who have also raised their family and built a career are waiting to act on their entrepreneurial spirit.
“According to the study, minority women-owned businesses have gone from fewer than a million nationwide in 1997 to 2.67 million today. Almost one in three women-owned businesses is run by a minority,” the article continues. Georgia also leads in the number of businesses owned by black women. On the flip side, Alaska ranks dead last for states with women-owned businesses. A woman business owner quoted in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner says it’s because the top industries in Alaska tend to favor men, areas like mining and oil engineering.
To help promote women-owned businesses, the Small Business Association along with AMEX OPEN has just launched ChallengeHER, a national campaign to advance government contracting to women in business. According to information we received (and available here), the program will include free workshops, mentoring opportunities, and access to people who can sign off on those contracts.
A new study confirms what many women- and minority-owned businesses had learned to cope with ages ago — they operate on less financing. Non-technology businesses owned by African Americans, Latinos, and women simply work with less capital, says a report issued by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy. Called the Access to Capital among Young Firms, Minority-owned Firms, Women-owned Firms, and High-tech Firms, the report examines how the changing financial environment affects new firms.
The study’s author, Alicia Robb, finds that minority firms in particular rely more on their own funds and have less capital to start up and develop. In fact, African American and Latino owners of young firms are less likely than others with similar credit scores to have access to bank financing. “During the financial crisis, women and minority owners of new startups were less likely to apply for credit, fearing loan denial,” according to a SBA press release.
“We know that startup businesses with access to financing drive innovation, job creation, and economic growth,” said Dr. Winslow Sargeant, Chief Counsel for Advocacy. “Policies that help close the financing gaps for minorities and women and for high-tech startups will benefit the whole economy.”
According to Forbes, recession or not minority business enterprises (MBEs) always have a problem funding funding. “MBEs rely more heavily on financial institutions for loans than all other borrowing sources combined. However, when compared to white-owned firms, MBEs typically encounter higher borrowing costs, receive smaller loans and see their loan applications rejected more often,” reports the magazine. “Black- and Latino-owned MBEs are the most likely to experience such negative results.”
Strengthened by 27 years of business ownership experience, Avis Yates Rivers serves as the president and CEO of Technology Concepts Group International (TCGi), an information technology solutions provider and full-service equipment leasing firm. TCGi supports the public and private sector in the areas of IT asset management, equipment financing and other technical and professional services.
In addition to leading and managing TCGi, Rivers is an advocate for minority- and women-owned businesses and a prolific public speaker. Rivers is is also the director of the National Center for Women and Information Technology. This avid golfer, wife, mother and grandmother is also listed by the White House as one of the country’s champions of change.
Madame Noire: What were you doing before you founded Technology Concepts Group International?
Avis Yates Rivers: I [had] an 11-year career with Exxon Corporation in New York City. My last assignment was selling technology on Wall Street before Exxon sold its office automation division. When that happened, I launched my first firm, Word Processing Express, in 1985. I started Word Processing Express out of the basement of my home. My previous experience working in the corporate world helped me to understand the needs of business owners.
MN: When did you start the Technology Concepts Group International?
AYR: I originally launched TCGi in 1996 to deliver information technology (IT) services to corporate America. I reorganized the firm in 2008 after acquiring a spinoff from Bank of America. The acquisition allowed us to add equipment leasing and total asset management solutions to our portfolio of services.
MN: Was that Technology Concept Group’s first acquisition?
AYR: That was my first acquisition and it was an interesting experience. I wanted to keep the experience of the bank’s team of professionals together to launch TCGi Capital. It made a lot of sense, but we were (unknowingly) headed into this tough recession which delayed our attainment of certain goals. In fact, there was little to no revenue attainment, but very high expenses over the first two years. It required more funding, tenacity, and a lot of prayer.
MN: What was the biggest challenge you faced as a business owner?
AYR: Limited access to capital has been the biggest challenge over the years. To overcome this challenge, I cut expenses and grew organically by sourcing new customers. To date, major customers we have worked with include Bank of America, Freddie Mac, Cisco Systems and Verizon.
MN: When did you realize that you had a viable business and what did you do to celebrate this milestone?
AYR: When my sales reached $3 million and I made money every month I realized I had a viable business. Those sales allowed me to move TCGi into a 10,000-square-foot building in Somerset, NJ, where the company is headquartered. I used the space to house my growing staff.
MN: On May 18, 2012 Facebook became the first social media network to become a publicly-owned and operated firm. Clearly, the Internet is having a major impact on IT. What changes do you see the Internet having on your industry over the next two to four years?
AYR: Dramatic advances in cloud computing and Internet technology will continue to dictate how we all work, play, get friends, find new customers, start relationships, become educated and find new jobs. One strong trend is how we will consume computing power and software in the future. Many more applications will migrate to the cloud, allowing us to pay as we go. As a whole IT is helping business owners to bridge the global divide, gain access to emerging markets and grow their firms internationally.
(Inc.) — In February, the federal government unveiled new rules to promote women-owned small businesses. Contracts under the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract Program are to be awarded by the fourth quarter of 2011. This should help the government reach its 5 percent goal for contracting to women-owned businesses. (In 2010 only 3.4 percent of federal contracting dollars were awarded to female entrepreneurs. When compared to all privately held firms, women-owned businesses employ 13 percent of the workforce and account for 11 percent of all business revenue, according to the recent American Express OPEN State of Women-Owned Business Report. However, much more can be done to boost this group. Only 1.8% of women-owned businesses currently have revenue that exceeds $1 million.American Express Open executive vice president Denise Pickett says government contracts are critical because they are one area of the economy that is on the rise. “Government spending in many areas has either remained consistent or increased in a time when other prospects’ spending has decreased,” she stated in May testimony to the House Small Business Committee.
(Black Enterprise) – Gerald Smith, chairman and CEO of Houston-based Smith Graham & Co. Investment Advisors L.P., says his firm is already benefiting from a new federal law that’s helping minority and women contractors land deals with regulators of the nation’s financial system. The law allowed Smith’s firm, (No. 7 on the BE ASSET MANAGERS list with nearly $5 billion in assets under management), to land a contract last fall to provide advisory services to the U.S. Treasury Department, Smith says. Smith Graham, through a partnership with Boston-based State Street Global, is advising the Treasury on the management of about $150 billion in mortgage-backed securities, Smith says. “Our goal is to spend more time in Washington and work with these offices, bring more business to the firm, create new opportunities and show them our value added proposition,” he says.
(Chicago Tribune) — A city agency that oversees hundreds of millions of dollars worth of construction projects “grossly overstated” the amount it paid certified minority contractors in 2009, according to a report issued Wednesday by the city’s top internal watchdog. The Public Building Commission reported paying $89 million to certified minority-owned businesses two years ago, but a review of actual payments and certifications indicates those payments were overstated by nearly 40 percent, the report concludes. Inspector General Joseph Ferguson also found that the commission overestimated payments of $16.1 million to certified women-owned businesses by 3 percent. And he alleged that the commission was not complying with its responsibility to allow him to probe all projects involving city money.
(Washington Post) — Section 342 of the recently enacted Dodd-Frank Act requires nearly 30 agencies that oversee the financial system, including the Federal Reserve, the Treasury Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., to establish offices of minority and women inclusion to monitor diversity within their ranks and the pool of contractors who provide goods and services to the government. Federal Reserve system and some of the agencies essentia The lly were exempt from contract diversity efforts previously. The provision was introduced by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who argued that minority- and women-owned firms were largely shut out of getting a piece of the billions of dollars the government spent to bail out financial institutions. Now, though, every woman- and minority-owned firm in the Washington region has a chance to benefit, with the provision offering them an avenue to reap millions of dollars in new annual revenue.
(Black Enterprise) — The NBA’s All-Star Weekend is in full swing. Bringing together the brightest and most exciting players in the league for a spectacular match up in Los Angeles, Calif. While everyone is focused on the men on the court,BlackEnterprise.com took a moment to turn the spotlight on some of the women behind the scenes posting up in the boardroom and scoring big bucks. Our starting five consists of basketball wives who have stepped out on their own with noteworthy business ventures. Here’s the tip off.
Cookie Johnson: Starting Center
After Johnson, 52, struggled to find a jean that fit just right, the denim duchess took matters into her own hands, launching CJ by Cookie Johnson, a premium jean enterprise catering to real women with curvaceous figures, in 2009. The wife of basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson aligned herself with the best in the denim business: Michael Glasser, founder of 7 For All Mankind and Citizens of Humanity. Since starting her line, Johnson has made it onto Oprah’s Favorite Things list for 2009 and is available in Nordstrom’s and Bloomingdale’s department stores across the country.
(The Pilot) — The “GWG” in GWG Wig Boutique in downtown Southern Pines stands for Gail Withers George and, she adds, “Go with God.” Gail has gone many places with God. In fact, the fashionista retailer with a brilliant smile owns a CV that reads like an African-American history timeline, beginning with her grandmother’s domestic employment and culminating in Winston-Salem’s Best Small Business award in 1993. That business, Temp Options, placed ex-convicts in construction jobs. When one didn’t show, Gail put on jeans and boots, reported to the work site at Baptist Hospital, donned a hard hat and demolished bathrooms.
“I love being an entrepreneur,” George says. She also loves independence. All of Gail’s businesses were opened with her own savings, not bank or other financing. Gail, an only child, was born in Salisbury but moved around. Her father was in the Air Force, and her mother worked for Honeywell. Gail calls her grandmother’s domestic employment a self-owned enterprise. As a student she held a variety of summer jobs, discovering that “you can’t make money working for $1.25 an hour.” Gail studied speech pathology at Boston College but itched to get out on her own.
(The New York Times) — Over the course of an hour on a Wednesday afternoon, Bedford-Stuyvesant bed-and-breakfast owner Monique Greenwood received five phone calls, chatted to a passerby about her business, prepared orange juice, said goodbye to a client, and helped another find his way to the subway station. “You want to know if I sleep?” Ms. Greenwood asked. “No!” she said, laughing.
Born in Washington D.C., Ms. Greenwood, a former editor-in-chief of the national African-American women’s magazine Essence, and her husband Glenn Pogue, moved to Bed-Stuy in 1989. Five years later, they fell in love with a dilapidated and abandoned brownstone on 347 MacDonough Street “Children of the neighborhood used to call it the ‘haunted house,’” said Ms. Greenwood.
After sinking nine months and $500,000 into renovations, the couple opened Akwaaba Mansion, then the only bed-and-breakfast in the neighborhood, on July 4th, 1995. Ms. Greenwood quit her high-profile job at Essence in 2001.