As an entrepreneur herself, U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Linda McMahon knows firsthand the challenges women face as small business owners. One of her priorities is to ensure women have access to the tools and resources they need to succeed.
Women entrepreneurs are starting businesses at twice the rate of men and are represented in every industry.
The recently released American Express 2018 State of Women-Owned Businesses report – which makes its projections based on data from the most recent U.S. Census Bureau Survey of Business Owners – estimates that there are 12.3 million women-owned businesses. These entities account for 40 percent of all U.S. businesses and generate an estimated $1.8 trillion in revenue, with $386.6 billion in revenue coming from minority women-owned businesses.
More than 30 years ago, the SBA established the Office of Women’s Business Ownership to provide advocacy, outreach, education and support to this growing economic sector. And throughout the SBA, we are working to ensure women have access to funding, counseling, government contracting and other opportunities they need to start, grow and expand their businesses.
In fiscal year 2018, women-owned businesses represented nearly 17 percent of all SBA-guaranteed loans in the South Central Region, which covers New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.
The SBA approved 1,075 loans to women-owned businesses, totaling $493 million and supporting 10,358 jobs throughout our local neighborhoods and communities.
In Bernalillo County, 20 women were approved for more than $17 million in SBA-backed loans to start or expand a business in fiscal year 2018. These loans helped create or retain nearly 400 jobs in the county.
The majority of these loans – five for $5.2 million – were approved for women-owned businesses in the health care and social assistance industry, and five loans for $4.2 million were approved for women-owned businesses in the professional, scientific, and technical services industry.
The government has a goal to award at least 5 percent of all federal contract dollars to women-owned small businesses each year. The goal is to help level the playing field for female business owners in industries where women-owned businesses are underrepresented.
In fiscal year 2018, more than $2.15 billion in federal contracts were awarded to women-owned small businesses in the South Central Region, up almost 14 percent over the previous year.
In the state of New Mexico, women-owned firms were awarded more than $292 million in federal contracts.
In 1988, the SBA established the Women’s Business Center program to help women overcome barriers to success. Today there are 114 WBCs, with one in almost every state, providing training, coaching and mentoring to entrepreneurs.
In the South Central Region, these centers served 13,515 clients with counseling and training and assisted 389 startups.
Some of the topics include how to become a certified woman-owned small business, how to use social media as a marketing tool, and how to export products. And they are always developing new courses based on the needs of their communities.
In celebration of Women’s History Month, we recognize female business leaders who blazed trails toward economic prosperity and equality.
Find out more about how SBA can help you start or grow your women-owned business by visiting www.sba.gov, contact the New Mexico District Office at 505-248-8225, and follow us @SBASouthCentral.
Justin Crossie is the regional administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s South Central Region, which includes New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.