Women small business owners are poised to end 2019 on a high note with most anticipating year-over-year growth, according to the 2019 Bank of America Women Business Owner Spotlight unveiled this month to mark National Women’s Small Business Month.
Eighty-four percent of those surveyed are optimistic growth will carry into the new year with revenue forecasts and expansion plans reaching four-year highs, and notably stronger than their male peers’ projections. The annual study of more than 1,000 entrepreneurs around the country reveals that among women small business owners:
73% plan to expand (vs. 66% of male business owners, and up from 67% in 2018);
62% expect their revenue will increase next year (vs. 55% of male business owners, and up from 58% in 2018); and
25% plan to hire (vs. 23% of male business owners, and up from 21% in 2018).
I see women entrepreneurs here in Arkansas making big moves and big decisions every day. Women own 33.5% of businesses in Arkansas, just shy of the national average of 36.3%, according to research from the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas.
What is needed to help these small business owners – and the next generation of women entrepreneurs – succeed?
Our Bank of America small business owners report found that strong majorities of women entrepreneurs identified achieving work-life balance (95%), pay equality (92%) and improved access to capital (90%) will have a significant impact on helping women in business over the next five years. Yet still, more than half of women entrepreneurs do not believe they have the same access to capital as their male counterparts.
In the long term, women entrepreneurs say having more females in positions of influence is the single factor they believe will have the greatest impact on paving the way for the next generation of women in business.
It is inspiring to see women entrepreneurs’ continued success, despite the obstacles that exist. Whether you have been in business for decades or just opened your door this year, seek out resources to help you grow your business responsibly. The future is yours.
Jantel Stamps is assistant vice president and small business banker at Bank of America in North Little Rock. Email her at email@example.com.