Every Sept. 22 we celebrate American Business Women’s Day. First recognized in 1982, American Business Women’s Day is a day set aside to honor and reflect upon the contributions and accomplishments of the millions of U.S. women in the workforce, and women business owners.

Since 1938, National Business Women’s Week has been held the third full week in October. The entire month of October is recognized as Women in Business month. It has been since 1988.

It’s important to know these celebrations were not created to disregard the accomplishments of men, but simply to bring to light those contributions made by women in today’s business world and economy.

A SCORE report in 2018 showed that women owned businesses make up 40% of the 31 million small businesses in the United States. That’s approximately 12 million businesses employing close to 10 million workers and generating over $1.8 trillion in revenue. Over 60% reported the income from their business was the primary support of their family. A report from 2007 showed only four million women owned businesses.

A 2019 Guidant Financial report found 71% of those 12 million women business owners said their business is profitable. The top five industries represented were: Health, Beauty and Fitness; Food related businesses; business services like bookkeeping, HR, marketing; retail; and education. That same report stated 73% started their businesses by bootstrapping. They used savings, borrowed from friends and family, tapped into their 401k accounts or used credit cards to fund the startup costs. The report showed that 52% of these business owners are over 50 years old, 29% between 40 and 49 and 19% between 18 and 39.

Women-owned businesses are a strong part of our economy and that’s why we celebrate their success and support their efforts.

To celebrate and support the success of Women Owned Businesses in our area SCORE Port Charlotte and our partners, the City of North Port, Achieva Credit Union and the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce will present the Women in Business: Challenges and Opportunities Conference in North Port. The Conference will take place Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019 from 8 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on the Suncoast Technical College Campus, located at 4445 Career Lane, off I-75 at Exit 179 in North Port.

The lineup of speakers includes Allison Imre, Owner/President of Grapevine Communications; Dr. Sandra Kauanui, Director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship at Florida Golf Coast University; Kim Quigley, Caroline McCarron, and Linda Coble, Market Leaders for BB&T Bank and Althea Harris, Assistant District Director for Marketing and Outreach for the Miami office of the Small Business Administration.

Topics addressed will include the challenges and opportunities of a women owned business, recent changes in women entrepreneurs, banking on success and growing your business and securing government contracts for woman-owned businesses.

The registration cost of $25 includes continental breakfast, lunch (choice of turkey, ham or veggie sub from Firehouse Subs), snacks, networking, a goodie bag with offers from local businesses, information to help your business grow and a special gift.

Seating is limited and filling up fast. Register at northportareachamber.com.

If you wish to have your business information placed into the goodie bag (cost is $25 per item) or if you wish to donate a door prize for the event, contact Ed Davis at eddavis@score volunteer.org. Deadline is Friday, Sept. 20.

For more information and assistance working in or on your business, request a mentor from Port Charlotte SCORE at www.portcharlotte.score.org. Volunteers provide confidential business advice to meet the needs of both start-up and existing entrepreneurs at no cost.

To learn how you can become a SCORE volunteer contact Nils.Weibull@scorevolunteer.org. Follow us on Twitter; @charlottecscore

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