State of Women in Entrepreneurship: 2018

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By Jessica Fialkovich | @jfialkovich

When we kicked off The Broadview last May, my first post was about the State of the City: Women, Denver & Entrepreneurship. The turn of the year is an opportunity to look back and look ahead.  When it comes to women and entrepreneurship, how did we, as a city, fare in 2017 and what do we have to look forward to in 2018?

IN 2017 WE . . .

  • Had the first annual Women’s Entrepreneurship Day in November with multiple events across the Metro area, but largest at Commons on Champa with a standing room only crowd. Governor John Hickenlooper also declared November 17th as Women’s Entrepreneurship Day in Colorado.
  • Saw even more resources and groups launch to support women in business -- including Women on the Rise, which is supported by the Commons on Champa and the Downtown Denver Partnership, Women in Kind, the first comprehensive coworking space focused on women, Women of Denver, Lady Killas, and a host of other fantastic networking groups and opportunities
  • Ranked the #9 state for women in entrepreneurship. Pros? Colorado is first in the number of women with bachelor degrees or higher, fifth in unemployment, and sixth in number of businesses per people. Cons? According to a study by Fundera, Colorado is also tied for 27th in the  number of SBA women’s business centers and is ranked as 41st in percent of women-owned firms in business for more than 10 years. Ranked the #8 city in the country for women in tech by SmartAsset, mainly due to a lower than average income gap (94.3%) and average income after housing costs.

What does the future hold?

If I was the personification of women in entrepreneurship in Denver, my goal for the year would be #NEXTLEVEL. As a city we’ve developed a lot of resources for women in business. I disagree with the Fundera study, I don’t think we have too few resources (and I think only counting SBA centers is a flawed method). In fact, I think we have an abundance of resources, which can make it hard as a women entrepreneur to find a place and community in an arena where there are so many good options. I also believe the  resources available to women entrepreneurs have been very startup focused, and in order to take us, as individual women and as a group to the next level, we need to focus on growth.

Yes, it is hard to start a business, but the bigger accomplishment is maintaining a business. According to the Labor Bureau of Statistics, 50% of small businesses are no longer in business after five years. And 70% of those are not in business after ten years. As women, I know what you are thinking: 50%?! That is unacceptable.

My challenge to the city and all the groups supporting women in entrepreneurship is to take it to the #NEXTLEVEL. Challenge us as owners to step up our game and commit to growth: growth for our companies and growth for us as individuals.  In 2018, I am making a commitment to you, broads: this year I will push you with my content.I will not shy away from hard topics, I will ask you to commit to self growth, and show you how to take more risks. Let’s get to the #NEXTLEVEL together.