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Report gives insights on Nevada’s women-owned businesses

The number of women-owned businesses in Nevada is keeping pace with the national level, according to a new report commissioned by American Express. Nevada is No. 5 in growth for women-owned businesses, according to the report.

But Nevada’s trends in women-owned businesses opening in the state is healthy for reasons other than just the number of businesses opening in the “State of Women-Owned Businesses Report,” commissioned by American Express.

Geri Stengel, a research adviser for American Express, explained that the Nevada economy is in good shape. The state has more than 104,000 women-owned businesses, growing by over 19 percent, from 2014-2019, according to the report.

“Frequently when you have a strong economy, women entrepreneurs who start businesses out of necessity or flexibility return to the workforce, and we’re not seeing that in your case, so it’s really strong, solid growth that’s happening in Nevada,” Stengel said.

Stengel said, “For Nevada, the way that I would translate it (the data) is that Nevada has a really strong percentage of women who are likely to be opportunity entrepreneurs, starting a business because they see a hole in the market that they think they can fill.”

Opportunity entrepreneurs are separate from part-time business owners that work for Uber or other things of that nature (necessity or flexibility); women starting these types of businesses have increased substantially from 2014-2019, the period American Express reported.

Stengel said women do start businesses because they see an opportunity in the market.

“… But sometimes, it’s also because they’re starting it out of necessity because they may not be able to make ends meet or because they need flexibility because they’re caregivers,” Stengel said. “Often, necessity and flexibility entrepreneurs are ‘sidepreneurs.’”

American Express has worked to produce the report for the last nine years. The report uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s “Survey of Business Owners” and factored “in relative changes in Gross Domestic Product.” Businesses covered in the report include those with ownership of at least 51%, according to Stengel.

The 2019 report, for the first time, contained data surrounding the gig economy and women-owned businesses.

“The number of women starting part-time businesses, often referred to as ‘sidepreneurs,’ is growing nearly twice as fast as the overall growth of women entrepreneurs” from 2014-2019, according to the report.

“… The rate of growth of women entrepreneurs who are part-time entrepreneurs or sidepreneurs is much higher than the overall rate, so that’s 39% compared to 21%, in terms of the rate of growth over the last five years,” Stengel said.

“We did not look at the gig economy state by state,” Stengel said. “Just knowing the numbers, gig economy entrepreneurs would tend to be necessity entrepreneurs and flexibility entrepreneurs, so what I’m seeing under the hood of Nevada is that you really have strong growth, and I think that growth is coming from opportunity entrepreneurs and women of color.”

Stengel said she would expect that trend to continue for the gig economy, though there were forces that could change that from growing.

One of those decisions was in California, where legislators signed into law a bill to treat Uber drivers and other similar workers as employees and not independent contractors.

This opened the door to some workers now being eligible for benefits. The law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, will also make these contract workers eligible for California’s $12-an-hour minimum wage, set to increase to $15 by 2023.

The growth of women-owned businesses overall, nationally, has also been higher than all businesses in general during the report’s 2014-2019 period.

“The number of women-owned businesses increased 21% (nationally), while all businesses increased only 9%,” from 2014 to 2019, the report stated.

The number of women-owned firms in the U.S. and District of Columbia equated to nearly 13 million in 2019, compared to over 10.6 million in 2014.

“I would say that Nevada is keeping pace, as opposed to ahead, so if you were to look at the percentage of growth of the last five years, at the national level, it’s 21%,” Stengel said. “For Nevada, it’s 19%. I would say that’s probably a statistical dead heat.”

From 2018 to 2019, Nevada had a growth of 8% in women-owned firms against a national level of 5%.

“When the numbers area smaller, the small percentage difference is more significant,” Stengel said. “Again, I think Nevada has a strong economy, and you have a high percentage of women starting businesses, which would again, indicate to me that its opportunity entrepreneurs.”

The growth of women-owned businesses for women of color grew at an even higher rate than women-owned firms. Firms owned by women of color grew by 43% from 2014-19 with women-owned African-American forms growing by 50% in that period.

U.S. women started an average of 1,817 businesses per day, according to the report. Women of color accounted “for 89% of the new women-owned businesses per day (1,625) over the past year,” the report stated.

The number of women-owned firms nationally equated to roughly 42% of all businesses, according to the report. These firms generate revenue of $1.9 trillion and employ 9.4 million people.

The data tracked in the report was from all 50 states in the U.S. and the District of Columbia; the 50 most populous metropolitan areas in the U.S. were also tracked.

“Total employment by women-owned businesses rose 8%, while for all businesses the increase was far lower at 1.8%,” the report stated. “Total revenue for women-owned businesses also rose slightly above all businesses: 21% compared to 20% respectively.”

In revenue, Nevada’s women-owned firms were lower than the national level, at 16% growth from 2014 to 2019, though the numbers were closer over the last year for revenue.

“If we’re looking at the past year, which would be 2018-2019, it’s a dead heat, if not slightly above (6% growth in national with 7% growth in revenue for women-owned firms),” according to Stengel.

Nevada tied for No. 3 against Idaho for the top states where women increased their economic clout, which is defined by the number of firms and increases in employment and revenue.

Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com, on Twitter @MeehanLv

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