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WOMEN’S SMB MONTH: After 30 years, playing field still not equal

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  • There are around 12.3 million women-owned businesses in the US, and the vast majority of them are small businesses.
  • Four out of 10 business owners are women, up from 4.6% in 1972 when the US Census started keeping track of the sex of business owners.
  • Revenues by women-owned firms in that period increased from $8.1 billion to $1.8 trillion, according to analysis from American Express.
  • October is National Women’s Small Business Month, a nod to the October 1988 passage of the Women Owned Business Act.
  • The act enabled women to secure loans without a male co-signer, directed the Census to track all women-owned businesses, and established the National Women’s Business Council to advise Congress and the White House.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Business ownership is a relatively recent right for women in some states, where until the 1980s, women were unable to obtain business loans without the co-signature of a male relative.

Today, there are more than 12 million women who own a small business, and October is National Women’s Small Business Month.

Just 31 Octobers ago, Congress passed the Women’s Business Ownership Act of 1988, ending state-sanctioned sex discrimination and authorizing a new set of programs to foster the development of women entrepreneurs. In the past 30 years, women have grown to represent roughly 40% of all business owners, according to an American Express analysis of the US Census Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs. The analysis estimated that an average of 1,821 new women-owned businesses were formed each day in 2018.

The cumulative economic impact of the highest-performing firms in the study — those with annual revenues of more than $1 million — employed more than 6.2 million workers, and generated $1.2 trillion in revenues. These top-performers represented less than 2% of all women-owned firms, but netted nearly 70% of all women-owned business revenue.

One significant challenge emerged, however: nearly 9 in 10 of those small businesses earned less than $100,000 per year, and most are working solo. (The study found that most businesses hire their first employee after crossing the $100,000 threshold). Those numbers of self-employed women are driven largely by what the study terms “necessity entrepreneurs,” or individuals who cannot find full-time employment elsewhere, do not tend to hire additional employees, and typically return to wage-based employment when economic conditions improve.

The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the largest certifier of women-owned businesses, puts the numbers into a larger context. “Despite the incredible growth, we are still far from reaching gender parity,” the WBENC said in a blog post. “Women-owned businesses account for just 8 percent of the total private sector workforce and 4.3 percent of total revenues, and those numbers are not increasing as quickly as the number of new firms.”

Meanwhile, the National Women’s Business Council, which was formed under the 1988 law to advise the White House and Congress, reports that while there are more than a million millennial women entrepreneurs, they are starting businesses at a lower rate than earlier generations did at the same age.

According to the Council, the millennial generation is more educated, diverse and indebted than prior generations. Millennial women in the survey reported attitudes about entrepreneurship that were significantly shaped by the Great Recession, student debt, and “side hustles.”

Lastly, the American Express analysis credits women of color with being the “driving force behind the growth of women-owned businesses” in the last 11 years. The report calls for greater investment in and support of minority women business owners as a way to maximize broad economic gains and local community improvements.

The past half century has been “uneven,” according to the American Express report, and the data certainly bears that assertion out.

Stay tuned to Business Insider, where we will be highlighting individual stories and issues of concern throughout the month.

If you or someone you know runs a women’s small business with a story to share, please email Dominick at dreuter@businessinsider.com



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CEO of Outdoor Voices reportedly steps down as losses rack up

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  • Tyler Haney is reportedly stepping down as CEO of Outdoor Voices, according to a new report from Business of Fashion. 
  • 31-year Haney, who founded the brand in 2013, will reportedly stay on at the company but in a different role.
  • According to Business of Fashion, the company struggled to raise more funding at the end of last year and was losing around $2 million a month in 2019.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Tyler Haney is reportedly stepping down as CEO of athletics brand Outdoor Voices. 

31-year Haney, who founded the brand in 2013, will stay on at the company but in a different role, Business of Fashion reported early Friday morning. 

A spokesperson for the company was not immediately available to comment when contacted by Business Insider. 

Outdoor Voices has become a popular choice in recent years for trendy millennials with its brightly colored activewear that’s targeted toward everyday exercise – jogging or walking the dog, for example.

As of 2018, the company had raised $64 million in funding and counted Mickey Drexler, the former longtime J.Crew CEO, among its investors. Drexler became chairman of its board in 2017 but stepped from this role in mid-2019, according to Business of Fashion. 

Sources told Business of Fashion that the company struggled to raise more funding at the end of last year and was losing around $2 million a month in 2019 with annual sales of around $40 million. 

In conversation with Business Insider in 2018, Haney said that her goal was to create the world’s number one athletics brand that would eventually overtake more established players such as Nike, Lululemon, and Under Armour.

She said she wanted to create sportswear that was comfortable enough to sweat in but could be worn for a range of recreational activities.

“I remember going for a 1.5-mile jog and noticed that there is real dissonance in wearing a brightly colored outfit with muscle mapping all over it, something that you would see on an Olympic athlete, when I was going for a 10-minute-a-mile jog,” she said in a phone conversation with Business Insider in 2018.

She added: “We are really building the rules for our own game here… I have no interest in building the next Nike — we are building Outdoor Voices.”

The brand’s clothing line includes leggings, sports bras, t-shirts, and exercise dresses for women. A cotton t-shirt costs from $35, while leggings cost between $75 and $115. The scaled-down selection for men includes $55 shorts and $35-to-$55 t-shirts.



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The Dem debate in Las Vegas got more viewers than these programs

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The ‘Game of Thrones’ finale

game of thrones

“Game of Thrones”

HBO


Complaints from longtime fans aside, “Game of Thrones” was a consistent bread winner for HBO, bringing in high ratings for the premium cable network. 

However, diminishing enthusiasm over the final season of the series left the finale episode not only outpaced by the Las Vegas debate, but also not even the most viewed episode of the season, falling to a 15,845 rating.



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Dwyane Wade: 2012-13 Heat win streak had peak LeBron, couldn’t lose

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  • Dwyane Wade said the 2012-13 Miami Heat was a “special” team and felt like they couldn’t lose, particularly during their historic 27-game winning streak.
  • Wade said that team may have featured LeBron James at his peak — though he argued James may still be there now.
  • The dominance of that Heat team and the fun they had on the court changed public opinion of them after the “Big Three” joined up, according to Wade, a decision he is also proud of.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The 2012-13 Miami Heat can boast a claim as one of the greatest teams in NBA history.

In their third year with the “Big Three” of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, the Heat went 66-16 in the regular season, including a 27-game win streak, the second-longest NBA history. They went 12-4 in the first three rounds of the playoffs, then won the championship in a thrilling, seven-game series with the San Antonio Spurs, notching their second straight title.

While speaking to Business Insider ahead of the release of his ESPN documentary, “Life Unexpected,” Wade said that Heat team knew they were doing something “special” and created memories they’ll never forget.

“I think going through that process, we knew that it was something special that was being done,” Wade said. “You could feel it.”

lebron james dwyane wade

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

Ronald Martinez/Getty


The 27-game win streak, in particular, featured some of the most dominant basketball the league has ever seen. The Heat did not lose from February 3 to March 27 before finally falling to the Chicago Bulls in Chicago. During that span, the Heat outscored teams by nearly 13 points per 100 possessions. Sixteen of the 27 wins were by double-digits.

“Winning 27 in a row, man, it felt like you can never lose, you know,” Wade said. “It was just automatic. Down 27 in a fourth quarter? That’s okay, we’ll come back. It was that mentality and it was so much fun.”

That season may have also been LeBron James’ finest (a lofty achievement). James took home his fourth MVP that year and dominated both sides of the ball. Bosh has since told The Ringer’s Bill Simmons that it was the best basketball he’s ever seen anyone play. Wade agreed that it may have been the best he’s seen James.

“Definitely ‘Bron was at his — I mean you can’t say that he’s not at his peak still, but you know, he was definitely at the best of LeBron James we have ever seen.”

Wade said that Heat team also found its groove off the court. He noted that that was the season they produced their own viral “Harlem Shake” video.

“Two years before, we was the team that was hated because of the decision we made,” Wade said, referring to the teaming up of James, Bosh, and Wade. “And then two years later we was loved because we have fun playing the game of basketball.”

miami heat big 3

Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and LeBron James.

Chris Trotman/Getty


Wade looks back at that decision to team up with equal pride. That Heat era seems like a flash in the pan — four years, four Finals appearances, two championships, and that was it. James returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014. Wade and Bosh remained with the Heat, but Bosh’s career was cut short in 2016 with blood clots. 

Wade, however, said that the impact of the three stars teaming up still resonates today, what many in the NBA world consider the “player empowerment” era.

“I’m proud to be a part of, you know, LeBron and Chris Bosh and myself, proud that we was a part of creating that change and shifting the power,” Wade said. “It’ll shift back at some point, but 10 years strong, the power has been shifted into the player’s hand. As a player and as an advocate for the players coming forward, after us, coming up, that’s what you want.

“We understand what the game has done for us and the platform the game give us, but the game is only as good as the players. And the fact that the players can have that power, it makes me feel good to know that we was, you know, in the beginning phases of that.”



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