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Women-owned businesses are driving economic growth in the United States. Collectively, they employ 9.4 million workers and generate revenue of $3.2 trillion, or 8% of all revenue. (American Express)
Women bring diverse perspectives, lived experiences, and historically untapped strength to the business world. 50 years ago women owners represented just 4% of all businesses - today they represent 42% of all businesses. Women’s efforts not only help the economy but have made profound impacts in the communities they serve.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been brutal on small businesses. The number of active business owners in the U.S. plummeted by 22% from February-April 2020 with female-owned businesses experiencing a 25% drop.
A major hurdle for many businesswomen launching and growing is the lack of funding opportunities they can find. In 2020; 3 out of every 1,000 women became entrepreneurs, meanwhile, almost 5 of every 1,000 men became entrepreneurs. This gender gap in new business owners has been persistent for nearly three decades and only continued in 2020. (Kauffman).
Business Impact NW and the Washington Women’s Business Center (WWBC) recognize the strength of women-owned businesses and are dedicated to eliminating barriers that limit their success. Celebrating Dreams is a realization of that promise.
Celebrating The Power of Female Entrepreneurship
Celebrating Dreams, the WWBC Premier Event, is an opportunity to connect with other female entrepreneurs, mentors, community partners, resources, and leaders in the field – all while celebrating the female entrepreneurship community.
Many women-owned businesses have had to pivot during the pandemic to ensure continued success. Chef Jalissa Horton, the owner of Chef Jalissa Culinary Co., is an example of this resourcefulness. Chef Jalissa, a Celebrating Dreams 2019 participant, went through a complete re-branding in order to remain in business and thrive during the pandemic. Her business now includes online ordering, virtual culinary classes, and meal subscription plans that can be ordered online. This creativity exemplifies the resiliency women have demonstrated during the pandemic.
From Resiliency, Comes Strength
This year’s Celebrating Dreams theme is Strength in CommUNITY. It symbolizes the importance of women-owned businesses in our communities and how together we have found the strength to recover our businesses.
As we continue to support businesswomen this year and beyond, we invite you to visit our Celebrating Dreams Online Showcase starting May 1st. Our dedicated Showcase website will be live from May 1st – June 30th, 2021, and will feature women-owned companies, their products, and services. Businesses participating in the Showcase will receive support through Business Impact NW and the WWBC.
The free Celebrating Dreams live virtual event on May 27th culminates in an evening of celebration, connection, and opportunities for female entrepreneurs. Some of our panels for the night include, “Recovery Ready Case Studies” and “The Economic Value of Woman-Owned Businesses.”
Leading up to the main event, interested women can attend free webinars every Thursday in May. Topics include ‘Bringing Diversity to Your Organization’, ‘Marketing for Business Recovery’, and ‘Community Connections for Business Success’.
Save the Date to Visit The Celebrating Dreams Showcase Here
Join us for Celebrating Dreams 2021: Strength in CommUNITY Here
To become a sponsor for Celebrating Dreams 2021: Contact de[email protected] for more information
Visit Chef Jalissa’s website and learn more about her services: Chef Jalissa Culinary Co.
Learn more about Casey Hubbell and other women-owned businesses making an impact here.
About the author
Carolina is responsible for leading the Marketing and Communications department. She has a vast professional experience in marketing, market research and consulting, working with clients and organizations across many industries and in multiple Latin American countries. She earned her B.A. in Business Administration from Universidad Austral de Chile, a Master of Finance from Universidad de Chile, and a Certificate in Marketing from UC Berkeley. Outside of work she enjoys hiking, watching documentaries and volunteering.