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Reconnecting with Joy, Celebrating a Hopeful Future for Women Business Owners

In just one week, we will gather in person for Celebrating Dreams 2023! In preparation for a joyful evening of celebrating women entrepreneurs in our community, let’s take a moment to acknowledge the resiliency and determination of women business owners. 

The landscape of women’s business ownership has changed monumentally in this post-pandemic world—and for the better. During the pandemic, women entrepreneurs opened close to 1 million new businesses. This brought the total number of businesses owned by women to nearly 14 million. This astonishing achievement proves that self-employment and entrepreneurship continue to be major economic engines. In fact, they're a critical path to building wealth and creating self-sufficiency. The rise of remote work has created infinite opportunities for women business owners to secure talent that would otherwise be out of reach. Even though many businesses still struggle with a slower-than-hoped-for recovery, female entrepreneurs continue to innovate and create new business models. Women business owners have shown that they, and their revenue streams, can adapt to changing habits and thrive in the post-pandemic world.

Female entrepreneurs are passionate, optimistic problem-solvers. At the Washington Women’s Business Center (WWBC) and Business Impact NW, we recognize and celebrate the creativity, resourcefulness, and leadership of women business owners, especially minority women business owners. We are proud to be a pillar of their support network as they power our economy and build their prosperity.

Signs of success:

  • Women-owned businesses had an estimated $1.9 trillion in receipts, 10.9 million employees, and $432.1 billion in annual payroll. (US Census)
  • 62% of women entrepreneurs became self-employed citing a desire for more control over their career (BusinessDIT)
  • 1 in 5 firms earning a revenue of $1 million or more are woman-owned (NAWBO)
  • 13.94 million businesses in the US are woman-owned, as of 2023 (BusinessDIT)
  • Women-employer firms grew 16.7% between 2012 and 2019 (NWBC)
  • 64% of women-owned businesses, in 2022, were started by women of color (BusinessDIT)
  • 5.4 million firms across the US are majority-owned by women of color (NAWBO)

Meeting the Specific Needs of Women Entrepreneurs 

              As a group, women entrepreneurs face some common challenges—and Celebrating Dreams is an important facet of creating a constellation of resources they can draw upon for strength, community, and knowledge. 

Historically, the small business landscape has always been a male-dominated space. As women entrepreneurs have rarely been offered a seat at the table, the antidote is to “surround yourself with a community of like-minded women [who] can boost your confidence and recognize your potential.” (Female Founder Collective (FFC) In addition, many women entrepreneurs find it difficult to own their accomplishments and rarely use first-person language when speaking about their abilities and successes.

Events like Celebrating Dreams are a chance for women entrepreneurs to come together as a community with shared experiences. It's a supportive space to showcase their ventures in a welcoming environment. Building a support network is crucial, yet nearly half of the female founders say they lack mentors or advisers. Celebrating Dreams provides an important opportunity to connect with mentors, and create relationships with other businesswomen. It's also a place to discover the resources available to help them grow their businesses.

Creating Equal Opportunities

Together, we are building a more diverse economy that fosters opportunity and innovation. Thank you for sharing in the joy of business ownership and supporting our talented community of women business owners who are forging new paths and living their dreams.

Designed to assist women in starting and growing small businesses, the WWBC is a proud member of a national network of Women's Business Centers (WBC) throughout the United States and its territories. WBCs seek to "level the playing field" for women business owners. In 2021, the network of Women's Business Centers assisted more than 88,000 businesses and helped start over 3,300 new businesses (AWBC)! The WWBC strives to make a positive impact by providing access to training and resources that support the economic success of women-owned businesses and helps them make pivotal changes and improvements to their operations.

About the author

Jessica Vidican-Neisius
Washington Women's Business Center Director at Business Impact NW

Jessica has been a successful business owner since 1995 and has worked across all disciplines involved in operating a small business. She possesses extensive knowledge of business concepts and a solid financial acumen. Jessica has built two restaurants and four WSDA certified food processing facilities, with full responsibility for all aspects of business operations, including strategic planning, budgeting, sales, marketing, product development, human resources, and mentoring talent. She has created and implemented training programs and has been responsible for assessing effectiveness of operational policies and procedures under 3rd party audit review. Jessica holds a BA in Community Studies and Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of California – Santa Cruz. She is National Cohort member of the Goldman Sachs/Babson College 10K Small Business Program.

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