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The Facts:

woman wearing Cruella de Vil costume

There are 11.6 million women-owned businesses in the United States

Female-run businesses between 2014 and 2019:

  • The number of women-owned businesses rose 21% to a total of nearly 13 million (12,943,400)
  • Employment grew by 8% to 9.4 million, and revenue rose 21% to $1.9 trillion, at the same period of time. 
  • Last year, 1,821 women-owned businesses were launched every day.

Who was the first woman entrepreneur in America?

So, where did it all begin? 

While women have trailblazed for years, one of the first documented female entrepreneurs and first African American female billionaire was Madame C.J. Walker. 

She had a rough start to her life. She was born to former slaves, orphaned at age seven, a mother by 17, and a widow by 20. 

So, how did this young female entrepreneur step into the spotlight as the first woman entrepreneur? 

In the late 19th century, after experiencing her own hair loss, Madam C.J. Walker began to experiment and develop a hair product that aids with hair loss. She came up with the idea in a dream, and in a few weeks of using the hair concoction, her hair was growing faster than it had ever fallen out.

She started selling it by traveling door-to-door, teaching women about the product in 1905, with $1.50 to her name. By the end of 1910, she had thousands of people working for her across the country and earned $7,000 a week nearly, an equivalent of $175,000 today.

She grew her business even more by training women to help her sell the product. Walker enlisted her agents to sell beauty products and spread her philanthropic efforts of teaching self-empowerment to African American communities. 

She was one of the first woman entrepreneurial visionaries to see that women could earn their mark and become economically independent

smirking woman wearing red top using laptop computer

3 Reasons why championing women-owned businesses has never been more critical.

  1. The diversity of having more female leaders in the community strengthens our economy and local communities. 
  2. Women have unique perspectives and skills, they are able to problem solve in new ways, driving innovation.
  3. Female-owned business owners help inspire the next generation of female entrepreneurs. In doing this, they will foster a new wave of diverse businesses, driving society forward.

6 Tips for women eager to become entrepreneurs:

1 – Master the fundamentals

This is an essential step for every entrepreneur, regardless of gender: mastering the basic building blocks of business, including the ‘back office’ tasks like small business taxes and accounting and computers.

2 – Focus your time and energy in the right spots

Owning a business and being a partner or mother, daughter, or friend (or all the above), means that you must know where and what to prioritize when it comes to operating your business. Find the balance that works for you. Be clear and follow with intent.

3 – Don’t hide behind your business; be the face of your business.

  • Focus on the right social media platforms
  • Optimize your profile
  • Create meaningful relationships

4 – Spread the word about you and your business

5 – Get connected

6 – Give back

-Tommy A.

COO Bottom Line Strategy

Small Business Strategist

[email protected]

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