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Number of female-owned businesses on the rise

Throughout the nation, the number of female-owned businesses is on the rise and they are changing the business-world.

Posted: Nov 14, 2017 5:50 PM
Updated: Nov 14, 2017 10:33 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - New businesses are popping up everyday in Fort Wayne and more of them are owned by women. A new report published by American Express Open shows that the number of female-owned businesses is on the rise.

The hoosier state has an estimated 179,900 female-owned businesses, which is a 68% increase from 20 years ago. 187,200 people are employed by those companies. Those companies also generated $31,000,000+ in sales.

Female business owners here in the summit city are adding to those numbers, like Dr. Jeanne Zehr, who owns The MINDCAP Center. Zehr says she has seen the increase in the number of female owned businesses first hand.

"I know that I am seeing more and we're having more conversations. I think that trend is that there are more women saying "I think I can do this!""

Marna Pacheco and Susan Hickok own CapeAble Sensory Products, who make award-winning weighted products. They say being a woman has been helpful in changing the business world.

"I think it's been an advantage to be a woman because we are very relational, we're very open to seeking help, making connections. We seek every opportunity that we have to get input and advice for our business," said Hickok.
Pacheco added, "But we're also determined and we're hard workers."

Dr. Zehr added to the idea that women bring more to the business world, saying "the female persona plays itself well in the business world because social skills are so important and sometimes we do have some pretty good skills in that arena."

Even though some women are fighting to be seen as equals, Dr. Zehr, Pacheco, and Hickok beliee the traditional gender roles in business are disappearing.

"I haven't had anything that has made me feel like being a women has set me back," said Zehr

"More and more I hear from my friends that's becoming less of an issue and I think it's a great time to be a women and it's a great time to be a women business owner...Absolutely," said Hickok and Pacheco.

If you want to learn more about how to start your own business, seek the following resources

  1. Greater Fort Wayne INC.
  2. Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (also home to the Women's Economic Opportunity Center)
  3. SCORE chapter of Fort Wayne

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