Post by Liz Cullen, contributing Women On Business writer
As the holidays approach and we look to 2010 for a new start and new goals in business, business owners have the opportunity to review the past year, and even the past decade, to re-evaluate and re-energize for upcoming challenges. One thing the first decade of the millennium has shown us is that we have to be ready for the unforeseeable and prepared for the unthinkable. At the same time, a poll by the Center for Women’s Business Research shows that women business owners are not only optimistic about their prospects for 2010, but also that they have good reason to be; sales and net earnings have begun to creep up for the women polled. As a result, many are creating jobs, with 26% of these entrepreneurs indicating that they will hire in the next quarter.
It is safe to say the survey finds women business owners cautiously optimistic. However, this carefulness may be indicative of a broader set of strengths among women in business which are uniquely suited to the current challenges of the economy and global business in general. Data from Catalyst show that companies with women represented in greater numbers on their Board of Directors outperform those with fewer or no women represented. Women bring a diverse set of skills and knowledge that create a competitive edge for global corporations.
In addition to their impact on international companies, women entrepreneurs themselves are a major factor in the U.S. economy. Women owned businesses generate $3 trillion in revenue for the economy and are responsible for 23 million jobs, according to another study by the Center for Women’s Business Research. As they feel that their prospects are improving, in terms of revenue and the ability to create jobs, this impact will grow.
As the decade comes to a close, we can learn from the recent past that there is good reason for caution. With women leading the way in the future, however, there is also good reason to be optimistic. Here’s wishing you a happy and hopeful holiday season!