All Articles Tagged "women owned businesses"
When many people hear a company is woman-owned, certain industries pop to mind—fashion, fitness, beauty. But this is far from the case as a new list created by the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) and American Express OPEN reveals. The list compiles the 50 fastest-growing women-led companies in America. And these companies are doing big business in a variety of fields.
According to Forbes, the 50 companies on the sixth annual list generated a combined $3.2 billion this year and, on average, $64.5 million in revenues over the past 12 months—up from an average of just $24.9 million in 2008. The number of women-led firms pulling in $10 million or more increased 57 percent over the last decade. They also employ an average of 641 workers per company.
To qualify for the ranking, businesses are required to be privately held, women-owned or led companies in North America and have reached two benchmarks: at least $500,000 in revenue by 2007, and $2 million in revenue by 2012, reports Forbes. Then, all eligible companies were ranked according to a sales growth formula that combines percentage and absolute growth.
Happy Family, which makes a line of organic meals for kids, topped this list. The 10-year-old company led by 26-year-old Shazi Visram, experienced a quadrupling of revenue in just two years ($13.3 million in 2010 to $62.3 million in 2012). Strategic Communications, a Louisville technology firm, came in second.
“It’s refreshing to see the variety of companies represented on this year’s list,” Marsha Firestone, the president and founder of WPO, told Forbes. “From global security to transportation to IT and recruiting, these companies represent the real breadth of talent in the female business community.” She adds, “Seventy-one percent of women business owners start companies that are based on or rooted in the technology of their previous employment, meaning that for many of the woman leaders of the 50 fastest-growing companies in America, entrepreneurship is, in fact, their second act.”
Only one African-American woman-owned company made the cut, however. Phyllis Newhouse, owner of Xtreme Solutions, Inc., an IT consulting based in Atlanta. We know that black women are working on upping that number.
The city of Newark, NJ along with the Brick City Development Corporation (BCDC), an economic development group, Prudential Financial, and New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC), a nonproft that provides assistance for housing and community development, today announced the BCDC Newark Fund, a loan fund to support small business growth in the city.
The fund will make loans up to $400,000 to small business owners looking to set up shop in Newark. Loans are available to Newark residents as well as those wanting to head to Newark.
The fund will “enable business to have access to capital and start new businesses,” Lyneir Richardson, CEO of the BCDC said during his opening remarks. He told Madame Noire that restaurants, grocery stories, and companies in other industries have already taken advantage of BCDC assistance. He says the city could use more retail outlets.
Besides providing help for entrepreneurs, the organizations involved with the Fund see it as a way to build Newark’s communities. Lata Reddy, Prudential’s VP of corporate social responsibility, said small businesses, and providing capital to small businesses, is “critical to the economic vitality of the city.” Prudential Financial has been headquartered in Newark for more than 135 years.
“It’s important that small business come to downtown” as well as other neighborhoods, said Wayne Meyer, NJCC president, because they provide “jobs for residents, build wealth, create safe spaces… and are vital to build and stabilize communities.”
The Fund wants to attract, not just small businesses, but minority-owned businesses, and businesses owned by women. Loans can be used for things like inventory, equipment, and real estate purposes. Loan interest rates start at eight percent and last for a maximum of five years. Anyone interested in learning more is asked to contact Ryan Johnson at the BCDC (email@example.com).
Perhaps you’ve never thought of opening your business in Newark. Mayor Cory Booker was on hand to address that.
“In the depths of the worst economy that I’ve ever seen, something powerful is happening in Newark,” he said, adding that the city is experiencing the largest resurgence since the 1950s. The city, he said, has “some of the ripest soil in America for opening a business.”
More on Madame Noire Business!
- Q&A: Monique Nelson Discusses Her Roots In The Marketing Business and Her Rise to the Top
- You Don’t Say? Jay-Z Invests In Duracell Powermat, Stars in New Ad
- Sticker Shock! Five Tips to Help You Pay for College
- Entrepreneur Spotlight: Meet The Women Behind The Groupon of Black Hair, The Fly Cut
- How to Tackle Office Enemies
- Small Business Spotlight: Sweet Treats You Don’t Have to Feel Guilty About
Minority and women-owned businesses in Orlando’s Orange Country have enjoyed millions of dollars of county tax funds for decades.Orlando is the first area government to extend programs that awards project funds to minority and women-owned businesses. But now, its support of these businesses may end. According to the Orlando Sentinel, in conjunction with three other organizations, the county will observe the achievements of its funding. The study is estimated to take more than a year and the results will determine whether or not the county will continue to set aside money for these businesses or not.
The program was set up to help support small businesses with public funds that would have otherwise been used to finance large copmanies, many of which are located outside of the local area. Funds are given depending on how many women or minority-owned businesses are included in subcontracts.This year alone, Orlando spent almost $4 million on minority and women-owned business; about 22 percent of the total spent on private companies.
Critics argue that the program allows inexperienced companies to receive work they don’t deserve. But supporters such as Derek Burke, the African American president of the WBO engineering firm, says that the program has worked. Burke has been in business for 18 years and owes his company’s growth to the program. He notes that the money made from these subcontracts not only helps these minority businesses, it also stays in the local community and brings jobs to the area.
Kevin Walsh, Orlando’s minority enterprise business official, also expresses his desire to see the program continue.
“I think the need is still there and is still great. Absolutely,” he said.
While the road to success and the million dollar mark may still be difficult for women-owned business to reach, a report by American Express research advisor Julie Weeks reveals that these women entrepreneurs are defiantly making strides in their various industries.
“It looks like the million-dollar, women-owned firms are doing better now than they were 10 years ago,” Weeks tells The Wall Street Journal.
The report observes that women-owned business begin to struggle when they reach $250,000 to $499,000 in annual profit. This becomes the breaking point for many of these companies as they deal with management issues.
“Women go in [to business] having technical expertise but they don’t have the managerial skills,” Marsha Firestone, the president and founder of advisory group Women Presidents’ Organization said to The Wall Street Journal. “To run a business, you need a lot of skills — marketing, financial, (human resources). You may not, in fact, have all those skills.”
In addition, businesses that make it past these management issues and into million dollar territory often do so at the expense of ownership. As they grow they begin to take on more stakeholders and owners making the company less than 51 percent women-owned.
Still, the reported 1.8 percent of women-owned companies in the one million dollar of 2011 is growing steadily in 2012.
“They do have bigger dreams now,” Firestone says of women entrepreneurs. “Women didn’t have the big dream 20 years ago. I think that’s changing.”
(Wall Street Journal) — A Bloomberg administration initiative intended to help minority- and women-owned companies secure more public contracts has steered little money to black-owned firms, according to city data. In the last year and a half, about three-quarters of city dollars paid to contractors participating in the program went to companies owned by either Asian Americans or white women. Businesses run by Latinos received 15% of that pool of money. The smallest share, 7%, went to black-run firms. ”It’s a shockingly paltry amount,” said city Comptroller John Liu, a first-term Democrat. The program has been a magnet for criticism since Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the City Council approved a law in 2005 that set voluntary goals for awarding a certain percentage of contracts to businesses registered as owned by minorities or women.
I am a single mom of 5 and have been a freight broker with my company for five and a half years. In July of 2008, I was transferred to Houston from California, made partner in September of 2009, and have been working from home ever since. Domestic freight has been at an all time low for the last few years so I figured I should tap into my other crafts. I can cook very well and I usually have a lot of people asking for dishes and recipes all the time. I am not in the market to make catering my primary business, but I definitely want to find ways to push my business and get it off the ground without a lot of money.
My mother was my biggest supporter and I lost her to cancer in September of 2010, so getting things moving has been hard for me. I feel the drive inside of me to keep moving, but haven’t actually put that into physical works yet. I am dedicated to providing a stable future for myself and my children. My daughters, aged 16, 14, and 13, are very helpful with their twin brothers, aged 2, and we work very well as a family, so I want to find ways to include them as well.
If you have any advice for me, it would be greatly appreciated. My family’s stability is my main priority.
I absolutely admire your strength and courage. Condolences to you for the loss of your mother; I wish you and your children the best. I can appreciate your love for cooking and wish I were near you because I love to eat!
Let’s get down to business. I know you are currently focused on catering, but that’s a labor and capital intensive business, and you said you need to keep costs low. What immediately jumped out at me is the unique—and very valuable—skill set you have as a result of working in the freight industry. Are you kidding me? You are knowledgeable enough about freight to be so valuable to a company that they asked you to move to keep working with them and have retained you as an employee even though business has slowed down. Unless a non-compete clause in your employment agreement prevents you from starting your own business in the freight industry, I think that’s the direction you should go!
Here are three steps to move forward:
Identify the best customer base and business:
There are only three segments to sell to in any business: consumers, businesses or government. You have specialized knowledge that many companies could use and perhaps even the government. Visit the U.S. Small Business Administration Women’s Business Center in your area (you can find it on the Office of Women’s Business Ownership web page) to get help, but start thinking about and researching what kind of business you could start based on your professional background.
Prepare yourself to do business with the federal government:
The federal government is mandated by Congress to spend five percent of its annual procurement budget with woman-owned small businesses. Right now that represents $179 billion in business and the government has created a set aside contract program for women entrepreneurs who are in certain industries (NAICS codes). Find out if freighting is one of their select industries and position your business for a contract. You can register and learn more about the process on the Women-Owned Small Business Contracting Program web pages.
Join the biggest chamber of commerce near where you live:
Freighting is specialized so you need to connect with the right kinds of customers and companies. Joining the largest local chamber of commerce is one of the best ways to do that. They have data about their members and contact information. You need to find mid-sized businesses with a market capitalization of $1 million or more who are having trouble with domestic freight planning, or need other help in that area that you are trained to provide. Set up an annual or multi-year contract agreement with your customers to help them develop the freighting systems and processes they need.
As far as your children, you can continue to make your business a family affair by having them complete office work (and whatever you pay them is tax deductible). It’s awesome that you are teaching them entrepreneurship, team building and a work ethic at an early age. That will serve them well in life.
Note: All advice offered in this column is for general information only. Felicia Joy and The Atlanta Post are indemnified against any and all related claims. Always seek the advice of licensed professionals before making business decisions.
Felicia Joy is a nationally recognized entrepreneur who created $50 million in value for the various organizations and companies she served in corporate America before launching her business enterprise. She is often called on to discuss the ins and outs of entrepreneurial success and has appeared on CNN, FOX and in other national press. Felicia operates Ms. CEO Inc., a training and development company that helps women entrepreneurs achieve more success, faster — as well as Joy Group International, LLC, a business development and consulting firm. Send her your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.twitter.com/feliciajoy.
(Bizjournals.com) — The Small Business Administration rolled out two new programs aimed at increasing the flow of credit to businesses in low-income areas, as well as minorities and women. The SBA also announced that Radio One founder and chairperson Catherine Hughes will chair the agency’s new Advisory Council on Underserved Communities. The agency’s two new loan programs are scheduled to be up and running by March 15. They both feature a streamlined loan application process for loans of up to $250,000 through the SBA’s flagship 7(a) program.
(Southern Maryland Online) — Maryland enjoys the highest percentage of women-owned businesses of any state except the District of Columbia, census statistics released Tuesday show. ”We used to be in the top 10, but we were never No. 2,” said Joanne Saltzberg, CEO of Women Entrepreneurs of Baltimore. “It’s very good news for Maryland.” The 2007 census figures show that women in Maryland own 33 percent of businesses, up from 31 percent in 2002, the last time the survey was conducted. That rate outstrips the nationwide pace of increasing women’s ownership. Nationally in 2007, 29 percent of businesses were women-owned, up from 28 percent in 2002.
(Crain’s) — The Economic Development Corp. announced a loan and assistance program Tuesday that it says will help solve a basic supply vs. demand problem plaguing the city’s affirmative-action contracting: government construction projects that prioritize hiring minority- and women-owned businesses sometimes find that qualified companies remain in short supply. A City Council report in September showed that city agencies were failing to meet the goals of a 2005 local law that sought to increase the ability of minority- and women-owned businesses to win city contracts. Only one city agency met half of its targets and 15 met none. The report also said 1.6% of the value of city contracts for the first half of last year went to minority- and women-owned businesses—representing 14.6% of the total number of awarded contracts.
(Examiner) — Laurie Collins, president and founder of DC-based LC Systems, proves just how far women business owners have come. Her significant strides and accomplishments have led her to recently receiving the Top 100 Minority Business® Enterprise Award. “LC Systems represents the best of what our region’s minority business community has to offer,” said Sharon R. Pinder of the Center for Business Inclusion and Diversity. “This award is the culmination of sacrifice, dedication and hard work and will inspire future minority business entrepreneurs to strive for the same level of success.” LC Systems has been providing technology, communications and multimedia solutions to private corporations, major government entities and non-profit institutions for the past 18 years. Collins takes a few moments to discuss exactly what it took to push her small business to the top.