What We Need Right Now Are More Female Entreprenuers
via @levoleague

"The businesswoman-focused organization Quantum Leaps released a report that stated, “The untapped potential of women-owned firms is equivalent to the discovery of an entirely new technology or the birth of an industry. [There is] the opportunity to create millions of new jobs and add trillions of dollars to America’s economy.” With the current economy needing all the help it can get, this has become a heightened cry to women.

In fact, the lack of women entrepreneurship is seen all over the current economic situation. Statistics state that women perform 66 percent of the world’s work, produce 50 percent of the food, but earn 10 percent of the income and own one percent of the property. The Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute projects that women small business owners will create 5 to 5.5 million new jobs across the U.S. by 2018, transforming the workplace of tomorrow into a far more inclusive, horizontally-managed environment.

“Women entrepreneurs are creating jobs!” women-driven financial education and
empowerment organization Savvy Ladies Executive Director Cara Power said. “In addition, many of the women entrepreneurs I know use profits to further their education as well as reinvest back into their business.

Startup and non-profit business education organization Ventureneer founder Geri Stengel agreed, saying women-owned startups, if given the right financial attention, would “create a lot more jobs and the economy could be humming.”

With the Lean In phenomenon working to empower women to push themselves forward—hopefully strengthening the path to entrepreneurship—the lack of realistic role models is one of the many reasons why the avenue may still seem so far away. Internationally-recognized website The Story Exchange is attempting to fill this void. Co-founder Sue Williams explained that she and former banker and marketing consultant Victoria Wang work to make sure the website shows “virtual role models” of real women small business owners for entrepreneur hopefuls, and evolving women business owners for those looking for the inspiration to keep going.

The bottom line, however, remains: Women entrepreneurs are needed.

“By deciding not to subscribe to a corporate or follow-the-leader attitude, they are redefining what ‘work environment’ means entirely,” Power said.

“Women entrepreneurs start companies almost two to one compared to men, and contribute over 7.5 million jobs in the U.S.,” President and Founder of Own It Ventures Melissa Gasnick-Cloeter explained. Own It Ventures, for instance, has events and other resources that connect women-owned businesses, products, and startups to the companies and individuals that can make the businesses succeed.

“Researchers show that if women business owners received the mentoring and opportunities we need for business success, we would contribute over 16 million jobs within the next five years,” Gasnick-Cloeter said.”

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