Oprah Winfrey. Sara Blakely. Angie Hicks.
These women are the embodiment of successful American entrepreneurs – but do they accurately reflect the “state of the union” when it comes to female entrepreneurship?
Despite the fact that the number of women-owned businesses is on the rise, we still face an uphill battle. In the U.S., gender-based challenges – including stereotypes and access to finance – present significant obstacles to women who want to launch and run businesses.
So, where do female entrepreneurs stand today?
In many areas, American women have taken the business world by storm:
- According to this Fortune.com article, the number of women-owned businesses grew by a whopping 74% between 1997 and 2015. That’s 1.5 times the national average!
- Black females are the fastest growing group of U.S. entrepreneurs; businesses owned by African American women grew 322% since 1997.
- Nearly half (46%) of the privately held companies in the U.S. are now at least half-owned by women.
But the big picture isn’t all rosy.