During my process of creating my company, I was blessed to meet many incredible women that have started their own businesses or had a strong desire to start one. But many of them feared the current business environment to be too unfriendly for a budding entrepreneur. So what really is the state of the environment? Here are some facts from the US Small Business Administration1 that can help paint a picture of the current landscape.
- Small businesses in the State of New York totaled to 1.9 million (2009).
- Small businesses make up 99% of all employers in the State and employ 51.7% of the private sector workforce (2009)
- Most of New York’s businesses are VERY SMALL, with fewer than 20 employees (2009)
- There are roughly half the amount of women business owners as there are men (2007)
- The number of small business loans (under $100,000) that were made in 2010 were 22,137 vs 371,650 in 2009.
- Quarterly establishment openings totals 105,965, while those that closed totals 103,705 (2010).
- Business bankruptcies reported totals 2,711 (2010).
What is this all telling you? First and foremost, small businesses are the backbone of New York. They are essential and necessary for the economy and the employment of its people. There are a lot of “mom and pop” shops that basically have only a few employees. But, unfortunately it is tough out there. Businesses are closing almost as fast as they are opening, and financing is hard to come by. Also, most small businesses are owned by men. So what does this all mean to you? One, you can make it. It just takes more hard work. Don’t let fear inhibit you into thinking it can’t be done. There are plenty of people that have started a business and are very successful. You can be one of them. Second, the pool of women entrepreneurs are significantly smaller. So you think that’s bad, but if you think about it carefully it’s actually good news. If you are a new entrepreneur and you found a niche service or product catered to the female segment, you probably have fewer competitors and attract a more loyal female audience.
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1 U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy, January 2012, Small Business Profile, May 2012, http://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/ny11.pdf