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10 Million Strong: This October the Council Celebrates National Women’s Small Business Month


When Council Member Kari Warberg Block had the inspiration for her business – a company that sells organic pesticides with little negative environmental impact – she had no idea she was about to build a billion dollar empire. Using her keen understanding of farming and trusting her gut, she launched Earth Kind.

Kari is one of 10 million women today who are innovating, starting new businesses, creating jobs, and both impacting the economy and creating great social value. This October, the National Women’s Business Council celebrates women business owners in America in the annual National Women’s Small Business Month.

“Our theme this year is 10 million strong because we know women are launching businesses that create value and solve problems. These businesses are innovative, scalable and are creating jobs and strengthening our economy. Women-owned and women-led businesses are truly a force to be reckoned with,” said Carla Harris, Presidentially-appointed Chair of the NWBC.

The Survey of Business Owners (SBO), released every five years, is a comprehensive survey of existing business owner demographics and gives the most accurate information available on the state of business ownership. This preliminary data, released in August, showcased numbers that were even stronger than previous findings or studies suggested on women business ownership in our country.

In 2007, there were 7.8 million women-owned businesses in the United States. As of 2012, there are 9.9 million women-owned businesses, reflecting a 27.5% increase from 2007 to 2012. Per the 2012 SBO, women-owned firms make up 36.2% of all nonfarm businesses and generate 1.6 trillion in total receipts. Of all women-owned firms, 10.6 % are employer firms; it’s an increase of 143,000 women-owned employer firms. These women-owned employer firms employ 8.9 million people, and generate receipts of $1.4 trillion. There are 2.1 million more women-owned businesses in 2012 than 2007 and almost 1.5 million more jobs since 2007.

“With numbers like this, the impact of women-owned businesses on our economy is undeniable. We are excited to recognize the growth of women’s business ownership throughout this month. It’s both a time for celebration and a call to action – the community is growing and diversifying and so too must the ecosystem that supports them. Women-owned businesses have made great strides in the last two decades, despite lower levels of access to capital and markets. Imagine if the doors of opportunity were fully open?” said Amanda Brown, Executive Director of the National Women’s Business Council.

In celebration of National Small Business Month, the NWBC is launching a campaign on October 1st called “10 Million Strong” to honor and highlight the accomplishments of women entrepreneurs and inspire a call to action for continued support. Learn more at nwbc.gov or follow along on Facebook at facebook.com/nwbcgov