AP NEWS

Study: Connecticut last in economic ‘clout’ of women entrepreneurs

August 22, 2018

Connecticut ranked last in an ongoing American Express study analyzing the state-by-state economic clout of women-owned companies, with no state in the Northeast cracking the top 10.

Between 2007 and 2018, Connecticut saw a 20 percent increase in the number of companies owned by women, to 112,500 in all, though if this year’s estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau are accurate then the number dropped from 2017.

That compared to a 58 percent growth rate nationally, ranking Connecticut 45th among states. Connecticut also trailing most of the nation with a 6 percent increase in jobs created over that span by women-owned businesses, versus a 21 percent bump in the United States as a whole.

Women entrepreneurs in Connecticut employ about 95,500 people, with their companies garnering $16.5 billion in annual revenue. Those numbers could accelerate in the coming year, with Gallup publishing poll results last week that small business owners are the most confident today that they have been in 15 years.

In the Women’s Business Development Council’s own survey in May, one in four women surveyed cited access to capital as their biggest obstacle to launching a business in Connecticut, with Stamford-based WBDC offering loans, grants and training programs to help them get started. Other issues for local women entrepreneurs included know-how to start a business, and establishing credibility to do so.

WBDC hosts its annual luncheon and awards ceremony on Oct. 12 at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich on East Putnam Avenue, with tickets starting at $250 and a panel discussion to be led by CNN morning anchor Alisyn Camerota. Sponsors include Deloitte and Hearst Connecticut Media Group, with information online at ctwbdc.org.

Others have attempted to galvanize more women to consider starting businesses, including the University of Connecticut this past May via the Xcite conference for women interested in innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship, with a series of workshops at UConn Stamford and a keynote speech by Mary Wieck, general manager of IBM’s blockchain technology initiatives.

Alex.Soule@scni.com; 203-842-2545; @casoulman

AP RADIO
Update hourly