As Wisconsin strives to create more jobs, women are playing a growing role in business development.The most recent U.S. Census numbers show that women own about 26% of the businesses in Wisconsin. The percentage is expected to keep rising.
Wendy Baumann is the President and CVO of Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation. She says women are almost twice as likely to start a new business than men. Baumann says that’s significant, especially since more people see small businesses as getting the economy back on track, “Women really can look at more creating some jobs in small, medium, and even large-sized businesses, where men overall are going to retain jobs by buying some existing businesses. So, the new job creation does have a little bit stronger foothold with women in business.”
But, Baumann says since banks are less likely to risk investing in a start up business, economic development corporations and organizations become more vital.
Retail and the health or social service sectors are the most common businesses started by women.
Karman Briggs is the director of Western Dairyland’s Women’s Business Center. She says the importance of these businesses can go overlooked, but often, it’s women creating jobs for themselves, “Women are looking for job creation in terms of starting businesses that fit within their own family goals, their own family priorities, family schedules, and family income needs.”
According to the U.S Census, Milwaukee, Ashland, and Pierce counties have the highest percentage of female-owned businesses.