Today’s T&D includes a special section titled “Women in Business.” The section features some of the latest news about trends and practices related to women in the business world. It also introduces you to the role of women in such key local businesses as Super-Sod, South Carolina.

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Inside the section, you’ll also find new information from American Express’ ninth annual State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, which establishes that women are playing a larger role in business than ever.

Women-owned businesses nationwide now represent 42% of all businesses — nearly 13 million — employing 9.4 million workers and generating revenue of $1.9 trillion.

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According to the report, in 2019 these U.S. women with diverse ethnic and geographic backgrounds started an average of 1,817 new businesses per day between 2018 and 2019, down only slightly from the record-setting 2018 number of 1,821.

The annual report, based on U.S. Census Bureau data adjusted by Gross Domestic Product data, also found that women-owned businesses continue to trend above all businesses. Over the past five years:

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• The number of women-owned businesses increased 21%, while all businesses increased only 9%.

• Total employment by women-owned businesses rose 8%, while for all businesses the increase was far lower at 1.8%.

• Total revenue for women-owned businesses also rose slightly above all businesses: 21% compared to 20% respectively.

South Carolina is among states setting the pace with women entrepreneurs.

The state has an estimated 171,056 women-owned businesses, employing more than 110,000 and attributing to roughly $16.3 billion, according to the study. South Carolina is ranked fourth in growth of number of women-owned firms since 2014 with a 19.3% increase, 20th in growth of jobs created with a 4.7% increase and 26th in growth of firm revenues with a 9% increase.

And women of color are out front in business growth. They represent 39% of the total female population in the U.S. but account for 89% of the net new women-owned businesses per day (1,625) over the past year, the study found. While the number of women-owned businesses grew 21% from 2014 to 2019, firms owned by women of color grew an astounding 43% and African American women-owned firms grew even faster at 50%.

As of 2019, women of color account for 50% of all women-owned businesses. An estimated 6.4 million women of color-owned businesses employ nearly 2.4 million people and generate $422.5 billion in revenue. But even as new minority-owned businesses are opening, the revenue disparity is increasing. In 2014, minority-owned businesses averaged $67,800 in revenue; by 2019 the average had dropped to $65,800, a decline of 3%.

African American women-owned businesses represented the highest rate of growth of any group in the number of firms between 2014 and 2019 as well as between 2018 and 2019. They started 42% of net new women-owned businesses, which is three times their share of the female population (14%).

The report estimates that if revenues generated by minority women-owned firms matched those currently generated by all women-owned businesses, they would add four million new jobs and $981 billion in revenues to the U.S. economy.

So while the news is positive on more women, particularly women of color, getting into business, there is still work to be done.

Courtney Kelso, senior vice president of American Express, puts it this way: “The face of entrepreneurship is evolving to include all women, regardless of demographics. Even more impressive is that women are starting businesses on their own terms – whether it be their full-time focus or a part time activity. The economic impact of women-owned businesses is undeniable, from the trillions they contribute via revenue to the millions of jobs they provide. We are committed to backing these women entrepreneurs because when they win, we all win.”

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