Happy International Women’s Day from the Women of Rev!
According to the 2015 Kauffman Index: Startup Activity, women have an ability to recognize when needs are not being met and develop solutions to fit those needs – a perfect description of what makes a great entrepreneur. Women also have an innovative mindset and can adapt quickly- two characteristics that pave the way for entrepreneurial success. It’s no wonder, then, that the amount of women-owned businesses in America has been on the rise in the past decade.
In our own Ithaca backyard, more women are starting companies than ever before. Did you know that women founded 16 out of the 37 Rev Member Companies? That means women have started 43% of the startups affiliated with Rev, and that number does not seem to be decreasing any time soon. When you add in the women co-founders of Member companies, that number gets even higher! Rev also has a great team of support staff and mentors, many of whom are women.
Tompkins County has a variety of resources for women entrepreneurs, to help businesses grow and thrive. Rev: Ithaca Startup Works provides women (and all startups poised to grow and create jobs in any field) with support, workshops and business coaching, giving Members confidence in their business endeavors and the knowledge necessary to build a successful business.
Rev’s Passenger to Pilot Program helps women entrepreneurs grow their businesses by providing them with resources, networking opportunities and business advice. Interested to see the ideas developed by the women in the 2016 cohort? Attend the Passenger to Pilot Graduation on May 18th at Rev: Ithaca Startup Works. The graduates will display their hard work with a night of pitching and networking. The event is free to attend, RSVP to save your spot.
This year, Rev is also partnering with the Cornell Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise to host a special evening keynote before SGE’s Business Impact Symposium. Featuring Lisa Ann Pinkerton of Technica Communications, this event will give women the chance to meet, network and collaborate while sharing business ideas and strategies. Ms. Pinkerton will share her insights on women’s natural leadership styles, and how these female entrepreneurial traits can be used to balance more stereotypical entrepreneurial traits, creating a real impact in companies and the world.
The Southern Tier is home to many professional organizations supporting women in business. For example, the Ithaca Chapter of the National Association of Professional Women has 183 members and serves as a platform for women to share business ideas and advice. Women TIES is a network of women in central and upstate New York who share entrepreneurial advice and guidance. On a larger scale, the Women’s Business Center of New York State provides resources for women all over the state who are interested in expanding their business ideas.
Women recognize the great business opportunities in New York State and have been starting or moving their businesses to the Upstate area. Elisa Miller-Out, COO of Women 2.0 and founder of Rev Member Company Singlebrook, thinks Ithaca is a great place to run her multiple businesses. “We recently moved the headquarters of Women 2.0 from Silicon Valley to Central New York,” she says “It’s an international media brand with a community of over one million women in tech. We’re passionate about connecting women entrepreneurs with the resources and network they need to succeed and we’re building a future in which gender is no longer a factor.”
Throughout New York State and the nation as a whole, women are stepping up as business owners. The 2015 Kauffman Index tells us that on a national scale, 36.8% of new entrepreneurs are women; the number of women-owned firms increased 74% between 1997 and 2015. In New York State alone, the number of women-owned startups rose 58% between 1997 and 2010, ranking New York as one of the top 10 states for women entrepreneurs. New York City itself is known as the city with the most female-founded startups, with 374 new startups in 2014.
The expansion of women in entrepreneurship represents a significant shift in the business world. Though some women still struggle to be recognized as competent business owners, research has been released demonstrating that women-owned businesses perform better than their male counterparts. According to Fortune, the female-led Fortune 1000 companies outperformed the S&P 500 index over their respective tenures with an average return of 103.4%, compared to other companies reporting an average return of 69.5%. Women are also showing strength in the tech world. True Wealth Ventures reported women-owned technology companies achieve 35% higher return on investment and bring in 12% higher revenue than male-led technology companies.
Recognizing women’s entrepreneurial strength assures women that they belong in the business world and inspires them to follow their entrepreneurial passions. While some people still believe women are not capable of leading a business, the evidence is clear that more and more women are taking the entrepreneurial leap and often outperforming male-led companies. The future presents a nearly limitless pool of opportunity for women business owners, with the ability to enter any industry and serve any kind of consumer. It will be exciting to see how women shift the business landscape in the years to come and what new innovations will arise from women entrepreneurs.
Interested in learning more about resources for women in business at Rev and around Ithaca? Reach out to us at [email protected] – we’re happy to introduce you to one of our mentors, or to other local organizations.