However, as women-owned businesses grow, it has become apparent that they are slow to grow new jobs. According to a report from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, 88 percent of women-owned firms were non-employer firms. The report, “Overcoming the Gender Gap: Women Entrepreneurs as Economic Drivers,” finds that given the right support, women-owned businesses have the opportunity to drive economic growth.
Carmen Krupar is the founder of Cybervise Limited, a webmaster services firm that operates at the Hamilton County Business Center (HCBC). Cybervise helps businesses with the constant upkeep, maintenance, and execution needed to manage a competitive web site. Krupar started Cybervise after she saw an opportunity for business growth her then employer wasn’t interested in pursuing.”
After balancing her full time job and the start up of Cybervise between March 2007 and September 2008, Krupar was ready to make her company her full time job. After giving a seminar at HCBC, Krupar made the jump to lease space. She says her biggest benefit to being at HCBC is her fellow tenants have become clients and peer-mentors.
Cybervise bucks the trend of women-owned businesses avoiding hiring employees. Krupar’s firm has added two other webmasters and expects to add one or two more positions this year.
“I’ve heard many business owners say they would never have employees,” says Krupar. “However, every time I add an employee our revenues increase. My employees have skills that I don’t, which enriches the services we can provide.
Lesa Mitchell, Kauffman’s vice president of Advancing Innovation authored the study. She believes that a few steps could advance female entrepreneurship in the US:
- Greater funding and support from women executives, philanthropy and industry are needed for not-for-profit initiatives geared toward high-growth women entrepreneurs.
- More visibility of successful women entrepreneurs is needed to create role models for young women considering starting their own firm.
- Women must be included at a higher rate on science advisory boards of high-tech companies.