By Kate Mitchell
The Daily Telegram, Adrian, Mich.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) While the pressures and challenges of being an entrepreneur can be intimidating, especially at the start, a community of female business owners in Michigan has created a support system to lift each other up.
The future of small business could be female and, for much of Lenawee County, that future already is here.
The number of women owning business in the United States grew by almost 2.1 million between 2007 and 2012, according to a survey conducted by the National Women’s Business Council. As of the NWBC’s December 2016 report, 36.3 percent of the nation’s businesses are owned by women.
This shift in demographics is no fluke according to Mehmet Yaya, an associate professor of economics at Eastern Michigan University.
“Females are participating more in the labor market, more likely to head households, and becoming more educated,” Yaya said. “All these factors might be contributing to the rise in woman-owned businesses.”
Much of Lenawee County is ahead of the gender curve when it comes to small business ownership. Around Devils Lake, roughly half of the businesses are either owned or co-owned by women and in Brooklyn-Irish Hills, the number is more than 40 percent.
Adrian Downtown Development Authority and Economic Development Coordinator Chris Miller doesn’t have an exact percentage of woman business owners in the city but their presence is having an impact.
“Being in a place that where anybody who has an idea, has a passion and a willingness to work hard and build a business, we are well served by having as many of those kinds of people being able to live their dream as possible,” he said. “The fact that we can imagine a future where we have a bunch more businesses downtown, including ones that women own …. is going to be healthy because it is going to speak to different people in the community.”