By Michael Vallante
Over the past decade, women have started small businesses at a phenomenal rate, and the Small Business Administration is proud to support their success.
The Census Bureau reports that the number of women-owned businesses grew 58 percent from 2007 to 2018. Firms owned by women of color grew at nearly three times that rate, with Latinas and African Americans leading the rate of growth. According to Census data analyzed by American Express, women created an average of 1,821 new businesses a day between 2017 and 2018.
The SBA is committed to supporting women seeking to start or scale their businesses. The Office of Women’s Business Ownership empowers entrepreneurs through advocacy, outreach, education and support. It supports programs through each of the SBA’s 68 district offices nationwide, providing business training and counseling, access to credit and capital, and marketing opportunities.
The network of 114 Women’s Business Centers provides additional training, coaching and mentoring to entrepreneurs in communities around the country. Topics include how to become a certified woman-owned small business and how to export products. In 2017, these centers supported more than 150,000 women, resulting in an estimated $1.7 billion in revenue growth and 17,000 new jobs for the businesses they served.
The SBA and its resource partners also train entrepreneurs on how to evaluate their readiness for government contracting, register as a government contractor, and qualify for contracts through small business set-aside programs. In fiscal year 2017, a total of $20.8 billion in prime government contracts were awarded to women-owned small businesses, supporting more than 115,000 jobs.
Dr. Gita Murthy is just one local entrepreneur who benefited from SBA resources. She owns RORE, a general contractor and environmental engineering and remediation firm in San Diego.
In 2008, Dr. Murthy partnered with an experienced government contractor, Innovative Technical Solutions of Walnut Creek, through the SBA Mentor-Protégé program. In 2009, they were awarded two government contracts worth $475 million. Dr. Murthy has grown RORE from one to 75 employees and now has seven offices nationwide and expanded internationally to an office Japan.
Dr. Murthy has big goals for her company. And the SBA is proud to have been part of her success!
Michael Vallante is regional administrator for the Small Business Administration’s Region IX. He oversees the agency’s programs and services in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and Guam.
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