In honor of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, I’d like to shine the spotlight on some of my personal favorite local women and their businesses:
- Elaine Goephart:I Love Photography & President of Hopkins Business & Civic Association (HBCA)
- Amy Saldanha:Kiddywampus & Past President of HBCA
- Angela Schatz:Schatz Real Estate Group & Past President of Hopkins Rotary
- Jill Hance Miller:Projects in Person
- Lisa Rudquist and Rachel Knutson:Ladibugs Hair Care
- Robyn Frank:Thumbs Cookies
- Jen Westmoreland Bouchard:Bouchard Design Co. & Hopkins School Board Member
- Amy Brace:Amy’s Cupcake Shop
- Tammy Lee Stanoch: CEO of Recombinetics & Co-Owner of Utepils Brewery
- Sharon Smith-Akinsanya: CEO of Rae Mackenzie Group & Founder of the People of Color Career Fair
- Parrel, Chloe and Alyssa Caplan:The Wow Bar, Blow Dry & Style Bar
- Alissa Barthel:Punk Rawk Labs
Entrepreneurs like the women above contribute vital energy and unique services to our community. What makes our western suburbs so dynamic is that we’re not bombarded by chains everywhere we look. Our communities – Hopkins Main Street is a great example – are eclectic and the businesses reflect that.
Shopping at local businesses creates a ripple effect of sizeable impact. My years in Rotary and my father’s 40 years in the Lions Club demonstrated to me how invested local entrepreneurs are to giving back to their community. It’s important that we do our part to keep local businesses strong.
Our local economy relies on small business owners to create jobs and when we shop at local businesses, we keep taxes in our local community, too.
Since the 2008 recession, the number of women-owned firms has grown five times as fast as the number of all firms generally and business growth numbers indicate a tidal wave trend of female entrepreneurship. If you attend local business and civic events, you’ll notice a shift in demographics in leadership.
According to statistics in the American Express report: State of Women-Owned Businesses, last year there were 11.3 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. That’s a 45 percent increase since 2007! It’s also remarkable that the number of firms owned by women of color have more than doubled since 2007 – at a rate of 126 percent, to be exact.
Increased access to innovative technology allows women to work from home or send emails and take business calls from their mobile device in-between time spent shuttling kids from here to there or drafting proposals, etc., after kids are in bed. Women, the primary caregiver in many households, are no longer held back from selling their products and services in the online world just because they can’t commit to a static 9-5 position.
When women are active contributors to the economy, it is a net positive for all. Unfortunately, we still face myriad obstacles in the traditional workplace. Male-dominated power structures often exclude or stymie women in their ascent to corporate leadership.
Until a shift takes place in corporate culture and policies become more broadly inclusive of women, we will continue to go out on our own and create opportunities for economic advancement for ourselves and others.
Sunday, November 19th (observed on Friday, November 17th) is Women’s Entrepreneurship Day 2017. It is a day that connects female entrepreneurs with consumers and global ambassadors in 144 countries worldwide.
If you’d like to learn more and celebrate with women entrepreneurs online, use the hashtag #ChooseWomen or follow WED on their social media accounts:
Let’s actively support all the bold and brave business owners who make our cities so unique. Happy WE Day!