Women-owned businesses on the rise - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Women-owned businesses on the rise

Vic Sullivan, Wells Fargo Branch Manager & Financial Advisor Vic Sullivan, Wells Fargo Branch Manager & Financial Advisor
Jennifer Keel, Business Co-Owner Jennifer Keel, Business Co-Owner

A recent report has found Georgia leads the nation in the growth of new women-owned businesses.

The American Express OPEN's 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses report looked at growth and found a triple-digit increase in the peach-state between 1997-to-2013.

Georgia has seen a 111% increase in the number of firms opened by women over the last sixteen years. And women are having a greater impact on the economy than ever before.

"Women make about 85 percent of the house hold decisions. And so, you know, that's a huge market. And you've got businesses all over the place, as they should be, should be marketing themselves towards that," Said Vic Sullivan, Wells Fargo Branch Manager & Financial Advisor.

Sullivan said the new businesses employ almost twenty million people across the nation. Women-owned businesses have moved into Albany as well, just like Two Chicks Eclectic finds, which moved into the city a little over a year ago.

Jennifer Keel and Suzanne Bettis opened up their store after running a painting business called Two Chicks Stripping for the last ten years. They continue to operate both companies and were excited to hear of the American Express OPEN's report.

"I think it will maybe encourage more women to kind of take that leap and do something they've always dreamed of doing, or thought about doing, but have been afraid to do it. So maybe they'll see that they can be successful," said Jennifer Keel, Business Co-Owner.

She's a single mom and says juggling family and working responsibilities have been challenge as a business woman.

"But it's just a lot to fit into one day, and we just kind of do it one day at a time. Life's too short. I try to just enjoy every day," said Keel.

Sullivan said a rising number of single women could be a reason for the increase in female operated businesses.

"So you've got a lot of women in almost every juncture now that are quite independent, and making all kind of decisions financially. Particularly for themselves and for their own future," Sullivan said.

According to the report, the new companies generate over a trillion-dollars in revenue every year.

Georgia has more than 308,000 women-owned firms. The report also found businesses owned by women of color, have experienced phenomenal growth, exceeding the progress of their white counterparts.

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