Investing in women is not just a good cause, it is an economic imperative.
Women in business, running businesses—the numbers worldwide are large and growing; the effect on economies, families and lives is already measurably huge. But women who have not yet started a business or who have not grown their businesses as they might—those numbers are much, much larger and the global benefits incalculably greater. The Path Forward Center is here for these women. These are women with potential to take the next steps in entrepreneurship.
Women are already an
From 1997 to 2004, the number of women businesses in the U.S. grew an average of 23% a year; the number of all other business grew less than 10% a year. In 2008 more than 10 million U.S. firms were majority-woman owned, employing more than 13 million people and generating $1.9 trillion in annual sales.
In many parts of the world, educated women are a large percentage of the unemployed or the underemployed. And women aren’t scaling their businesses as much as male-owned companies. Only 3% of women-owned companies have more than $1 million in annual sales, while 6% of male-owned companies have.
Women now make up over 50% of the workforce in the U.S. and in many countries, graduating from college at a rate greater than men.
McKinsey & Company confirms this in their report, "Unlocking the full potential of women in the U.S. economy".
Finally, a 2011 report from the Kauffman Foundation titled “Overcoming the Gender Gap: Women Entrepreneurs as Economic Drivers” cites research that shows:
- New companies create the most jobs
- Many high-growth firms are built around new science and technology
- Women have risen to the top in technology-oriented corporate and university hierarchies much more than in entrepreneurship
- There is a need to get more women into and successful in high-growth industries as entrepreneurs
Put another way: the economic path forward = Women (Innovation + Entrepreneurship). A familiar formula?
The ACTiVATE program fills the early part of the gaps highlighted in the report by helping both technical and non-technically-oriented women start companies enabled by innovation, which very often comes in the form of technologies (not just IT but materials, biotech, clean energy, etc).
And there's MORE
New research by Illuminate Ventures shows
women entrepreneurs are poised to lead the next
wave of growth in global technology
ventures. We hear frequently from educated
women who would start their own businesses if
only they knew how, had the support they needed
and someone to work with. The Path Forward
Center answers those
Want hard numbers on ACTiVATE's economic impact? Download the independant economic impact study conducted in 2010 on the UMBC program.
Want to hear from ACTiVATE
graduates about the impact on
them? Browse the videos
on our YouTube
Ready to get started?
Whether you're interested in starting a program in your area or looking to join a program, contact the Path Forward Center via phone at 301.916.5126or via e-mail Activate@PathForwardCenter.org to find out how.