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Challenges and Opportunities for Women-Owned Utah Businesses – Cache Valley Daily

Logan – In 1997, the Utah Women’s Business Center partnered with several organizations to conduct a survey of Utah’s female business owners to understand the role their businesses played in Utah’s economy.

In 2022, the University of Utah Utah Women & Leadership Project (UWLP), in partnership with the Utah Center for Women’s Business, will conduct another survey of female business owners to find out where they are making progress and needing improvement. identified the area.

The 1997 survey with 759 respondents was used as a starting point for the April/May 2022 survey with 251 respondents.

UWLP founder and lead report author Susan Madsen said a recent national survey based on the number of women-owned businesses in each state found Utah ranked 45th, with the state’s 16% of are owned by women.

“but, Utah ranks second for the fastest growth in women-owned businesses in the last 20 years.That’s a 77% increase,” Madsen said. “Utah also ranks among the top 10 states with the most profitable businesses for women-founded startups. Instead, women-owned businesses seem to be doing very well.”

According to a 2022 study, the three most common industries for women-owned businesses were: 1) Advertising, Business Services, and Information Technology. 2) agriculture, construction, engineering and manufacturing; 3) food service, leisure and travel; Of those surveyed, 65.6% owned her 100% of the business, 86.4% started the business and 10% bought the business. The majority of study participants were Caucasian (89.6%) and 9.6% were Hispanic/Latino. In a 1997 study, 94.1% of participants were Caucasian.

Many women entrepreneurs in Utah are college educated. Those with a postgraduate degree (31.9%) are closely followed by those with a bachelor’s degree (29.5%). 27.5% have a university/college of technology/associate degree. In a 1997 survey, half the number of women (15.2%) earned a graduate degree, but 44.4% of them earned a college/college/associate degree.

Over 70% of women entrepreneurs say they are married, 12% are single and 8.4% are divorced. The majority indicated that they had no children under the age of 17 at home. If the woman had co-owners, it was usually male, but if there were two or more additional owners, it was usually female.

Nearly 60% said they started their business because they wanted to build something, 51% said they wanted to be independent, and nearly 50% said they started it to make more money.

Led by Anne-Marie Wallace, state director of the Utah Center for Women’s Business, the 2022 research team sought to understand specific aspects of being a female business owner in Utah, asking participants to: You were asked to answer open-ended questions.

1. What challenges have you faced that are unique to women in running or growing your business?

The most frequently cited problems were balancing life responsibilities (18.5%), not feeling taken seriously (16.9%) and feeling unsupported or isolated (5.8%) was. Another barrier was the lack of resources to start or operate a business (14.3%). “It was difficult to get a business loan as a female-only business ownersaid one respondent. Interestingly, 21.7% said they didn’t see any barriers to running or growing their business, although others noted that their business was “right” for women, even though they never experienced barriers.

2. What is the best thing about being a female entrepreneur?

The top benefit cited by 28.8% was ‘interpersonal skills’ and the ability to form connections and relationships with others. The next benefit listed is resources/support available to women as business owners (22%). Another benefit was providing a business environment that offered flexibility (18%). One woman said, “I am grateful to be able to hire an amazing woman to support my work and provide flexibility that I was not allowed early in my career…” Nearly 15% said being a woman I feel there are no advantages to owning a business. .

3. What kind of support did you receive?

Having a support network was the most cited (33.7%). This includes family members, spouses/partners, friends, clients, co-workers, other female managers, co-workers, business partners, staff, and other women. More than 28% of those surveyed mentioned organizations that support business owners, and 9.6% emphasized having a mentor, coach, or consultant to provide support. The next area mentioned was financial assistance, including funding, grants, loans and tax advice (15.2%), although some said they received no additional assistance (20.8%). Community support (10.1%) was highlighted, including women’s networks, community-based awards, and support from business owner legislators.

4. What impact has the accessibility and availability of child care had on your business?

Many participants said that childcare scheduling had no impact on how their business operated (58.6%), but many participants either had no children, had grown children, or had older children. I waited until I was ready to start a business. If you have children at home, one in five finds it difficult to balance work and parenting. Access to quality child care was 16.2% for her. As one woman said:My life is planned around raising childrenWe’re currently paying more for twins parenting than we are paying for a monthly mortgage, but most school districts don’t have full-time kindergartens, so the mortgage could last for two years. ”

UWLP research fellow and co-author of the report, April Townsend, said Utah continues to rank highly on female entrepreneurship in some metrics, but not in others. says.

“Despite the hurdles, women are establishing businesses that not only generate income and employ other Utahans, but also contribute to the quality of life and economic prosperity of the region and the state as a whole,” Townsend said. said. “The likelihood of success will continue to increase as more women receive adequate funding, resources and support from a strong professional network.”

Madsen said it was important to note that the Women’s Business Ownership Act was passed and signed into law in 1988, just 34 years ago. This allowed a woman to apply for a business her bank her loan without a male relative being a co-signer. Since then, the number of women-owned businesses and their economic impact has increased.

We’ve come a long way, but we’re still moving forward‘ said Madsen. “We hope the results of this study will inform Utah business and government leaders to help develop plans that support the growth of women-owned businesses in the future.”

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