Women-Owned Businesses Becoming Top Earners

By Holly Shively
Dayton Daily News, Ohio

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) According to a recent report from American Express, only 1.7 percent of all women-owned businesses generate more than $1 million annually, but the number of high-earning, women firms has increased 46 percent in the last 11 years, compared to 12 percent of all U.S. businesses.

Dayton Daily News, Ohio

Though only a small percentage of women-owned companies rake in revenues that surpass $1 million, the number is growing quickly and these businesses are adding major employment across the country.

Connie Sawdey’s company, Sawdey Solutions Services in Beavercreek, is testament to the growth women-owned businesses have seen in the past decades. Sawdey was the sole employee of her company in 2001; now the more than $51 million Beavercreek business employs more than 500 and manages 250 sub contractors.

Sawdey opened her business after working for another company where she always wanted to be a local leader, she said. When her boss retired, she applied for the job.

“They brought somebody else in instead,” she said. “And I was having to train my boss on how to do his job.”

Eventually Sawdey’s husband, who became the second employee of Sawdey’s Solutions Services after 18 months, encouraged her to open her own business.

“The most important thing for a women-owned business owner is a good support structure,” she said. “Generally speaking it’s hard to find a peer.”

Only 1.7 percent of all women-owned businesses generate more than $1 million annually, but the number of high-earning, women firms has increased 46 percent in the last 11 years, compared to 12 percent of all U.S. businesses, according to a recent report from American Express.

“That’s a very healthy sign,” said American Express’s research advisor Geri Stengel. “There’s a lot of support now, not just of women starting business and maybe starting them out of necessity, but there’s also a lot of support for women that are growing high-growth companies.”

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