Texas has the largest number of women-identifying entrepreneurs in the country, but the data tells a different story.
Sponsored Content, By Jane Hervey, Photos courtesy of Maya Coplin
Texas was recently credited as the leading state for women in entrepreneurship in the U.S., due to its approach toward taxes, the low cost of living and an ever-growing quantity of women entrepreneurs.
And those three things are true. Texas does have the largest number of women-identifying entrepreneurs in the country, and that number is also one of the fastest-growing. But when we truly start to break down the numbers, the data tells a different story.
According to the latest Pew Research Center study on this demographic in 2012, 80 percent of women-owned businesses are non-employer, i.e. they’re small-business mom-and-pops or run by freelancers. Although these businesses are growing and more continue to enter the economy, 80 percent of all revenue generated by businesses in the U.S. still comes from male-led firms. Moreover, 90 percent of revenue in this sector is maintained by companies led by white folks.
What does this mean? This means that women, and particularly women of color, continue to push the envelope by starting companies, launching their own initiatives and building their own tables, but money and resources are still primarily relegated toward white, male-led circles.
So, how can we help? As consumers, we have an opportunity to vote with our dollar and change this data. Here are three reasons to pay attention to diverse, women-owned businesses in your communities:
1. Shopping local is good for the economy.
Reports show that local businesses generate 70 percent more local economic activity per square foot than big- box retail, because they hire locally and typically do not outsource labor. The businesses in your local community are more likely to be owned by women, people of color, LGBTQ folks and more. When it comes to diversity in ownership, small businesses beat large corporations and Fortune 500 companies by a long shot.
2. Investing in diverse businesses builds better communities.
When we pay a little more to go local—when we pay small-business owners for services and products that we might be able to get cheaper elsewhere— we are doing our part to ensure they can earn a living wage and pay a living wage to their own employees and staff. Studies show that our economies and communities only stand to benefit from more gender-equal business ownership, as women are also more likely to advocate for equal pay, create socially conscious businesses and media and employ more diversely. Also, when we consciously support racially and culturally diverse businesses, we have the opportunity to redistribute economic wealth and value within our communities more equally.
3. It’s just worth it.
When we live, work and participate in spaces that better represent a multitude of ideas and experiences, we are more creative, find better solutions for problems and have more tools at our disposal to adapt when necessary.
Want to jumpstart your journey toward better supporting women business owners? Join us next weekend at craftHER Market on Oct. 12 and 13 as we host 150-plus small-business owners, artists and makers from across Texas. Entry is free and all details can be found at crafthermarket.com.