Women gain ‘economic clout’

Colorado long has enjoyed a high ranking for percentage of women-owned businesses, and a new report finds that the state ranks in the Top 10 nationwide for “economic clout” for women-owned businesses.

The report, “The State of Women-Owned Businesses Report,” was commissioned by American Express (NYSE: AXP) and was derived from data from the U.S. Census Bureau. It defines “economic clout” as the combined growth rates of women-owned businesses for number of firms, employment and revenue.

Colorado ranked 10th nationwide in economic clout of women-owned firms from 2014 to 2019, according to the report. The Top 10:

  1. Georgia.
  2. Oregon.
  3. 3/4. Idaho and Nevada (tied for third place).
  4. South Dakota.
  5. Utah.
  6. Michigan.
  7. Maine.
  8. Washington.
  9. Colorado.

Nationally, the number of women-owned businesses increased 21 percent to 12.9 million during the five-year period, compared with a 9 percent increase for businesses overall.

Total employment increased 8 percent, compared with 1.8 percent for businesses overall.

And total revenue growth reached 21 percent for women-owned businesses, slightly beating the overall business revenue growth of 20 percent.

Women-owned businesses now represent 42 percent of all businesses, employing 9.4 million workers and generating revenue of $1.9 trillion nationally.

Locally, it’s gratifying to see how integral women are to the economies of the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado. The region boasts a long list of women who have become entrepreneurial success stories. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Beryl Stafford, founder and president of Bobo’s Oat Bars, which began in her kitchen and now has become a nationwide brand, with operations in Boulder and Loveland.
  • Brook Eddy, founder and CEO of Bhakti Chai. Eddy created a multi-million-dollar chai company from her kitchen, now with operations in Boulder and Longmont.
  • Linda Cain, CEO of Cain Travel, a Boulder-based travel company and one of the largest women-owned businesses in Colorado. (Some might wonder how a travel company could be doing so well. Trust me: Strategic shifts were involved.)
  • Kim Jordan, founder, New Belgium Brewing Co., one of the largest craft brewers in the country. Jordan founded the Fort Collins-based company with her former husband, Jeff Lebesch, eventually turning it over to employee ownership.
  • Wynne, Corkie and Doug Odell, founders of Odell Brewing Co. in Fort Collins. Odell has thrived by not trying to get too big, but it’s still one of the region’s most-recognized brands, and also has embraced employee ownership.
  • Lisa Clay, CEO of Advance Tank & Construction Inc., based in Wellington. The company ranks as the largest woman-owned company in Northern Colorado, with 2017 revenue of $66 million.
  • Lori Sutorius Jones, CEO of Avocet Communications in Longmont. Avocet was founded by Jones’ father, but she has taken the marketing company to $7.8 million in revenue as of 2017.

Women-owned business continue to grow in Colorado and the nation, and with examples such as these — and many others — it’s not difficult to see why.

Christopher Wood can be reached at 303-630-1942, 970-232-3133 or cwood@bizwest.com.

Colorado long has enjoyed a high ranking for percentage of women-owned businesses, and a new report finds that the state ranks in the Top 10 nationwide for “economic clout” for women-owned businesses.

The report, “The State of Women-Owned Businesses Report,” was commissioned by American Express (NYSE: AXP) and was derived from data from the U.S. Census Bureau. It defines “economic clout” as the combined growth rates of women-owned businesses for number of firms, employment and revenue.

Colorado ranked 10th nationwide in economic clout of women-owned firms from 2014 to 2019, according to the report. The Top 10:

  1. Georgia.
  2. Oregon.
  3. 3/4. Idaho and Nevada (tied for third place).
  4. South Dakota.
  5. Utah.
  6. Michigan.
  7. Maine.
  8. Washington.
  9. Colorado.

Nationally, the number of women-owned businesses increased 21 percent to 12.9 million during the five-year period, compared with a 9 percent increase for businesses overall.

Total employment increased 8 percent, compared with 1.8 percent for businesses overall.

And total revenue growth reached 21 percent for women-owned businesses, slightly beating the overall business revenue growth of 20 percent.

Women-owned businesses now represent 42 percent of all businesses, employing 9.4 million workers and generating revenue of $1.9 trillion nationally.

Locally, it’s gratifying to see how integral women are to the economies of the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado. The region boasts a long list of women who have become entrepreneurial success stories. Here are a few of my favorites: