Small businesses are a major part of our economy, fueling job growth and making up a large percentage of businesses overall. Women are driving economic growth, starting businesses at a rate five times higher than the national average, making it more important than ever that we recognize the impressive contributions women continue to make in business.

In Mississippi, an estimated 104,274 women own businesses, according to American Express’ State of Women-Owned Businesses Report and as reported by Daily Journal staff writer Danny McArthur.

The facts speak for themselves:

• Women own 42% of businesses in the United States, compared to 4.6% in 1972.

• Women-owned businesses generate $1.9 trillion annually.

• Women of color account for 50% of female business owners, having grown 43% from 2014 to 2019.

• There are nearly 13 million women-owned businesses in the United States, employing 9.4 million workers and generating revenue of $1.9 trillion.

The 2019 report noted that part-time entrepreneurship among women has grown 39 percent in the last five years. American Express research advisor Geri Stengel said this growth is often due to women starting businesses out of necessity to help supplement themselves or for scheduling flexibility.

“The face of entrepreneurship is evolving to include all women, regardless of demographics,” said Courtney Kelso, senior vice president at American Express. “Even more impressive is that women are starting businesses on their own terms.”

What these women are doing takes courage, intelligence and commitment. They are an inspiration to the generations of women coming after them, as well as to those today who have the vision, passion and drive to succeed.

Women-owned businesses are a strong part of our economy and that’s why we celebrate their success and growth.

We also must support their efforts – by doing this we are increasing the economic stability of our families and communities.

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