Small businesses are described as “an independent business having fewer than 500 employees,” according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). How fitting the SBA defines small businesses in terms of people. After all, it’s the people who make a small business successful.
The SBA reports that, in 2019, there are over 512,000 small businesses in Indiana. This is up from 479,059 in 2012, the latest available U.S. Census Bureau data. According to this 2012 data, nearly 163,000 businesses in Indiana were women-owned – approximately 34 percent.
Women are increasingly at the center of small business startups. The SBA places the national average of women-owned businesses at 36 percent. Indiana ranks just below the national average; however, since 2012, women-owned businesses in Indiana have been growing. According to the Indiana Small Business Development Center, there were 241 startups in 2016, 303 in 2017 and 318 in 2018.
The Brookings Institution reminds us that supporting these businesses is fundamental to community growth. In a 2015 report on minority and women entrepreneurs, small businesses were responsible for 63 percent of jobs created between 1993 and 2013. The report also reminds us that small businesses are leaders in new processes, organizational models, and innovation.
There are local resources to support women in small business. Whatever your needs – ideation, building a business plan, connecting to resources, learning through workshops, coaching, mentoring, funding, etc. – explore the resources to help you build a successful business.