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Senior Managing Director | The Opes Group LLC

A Surge in NYC Female Entrepreneurs

A recent study done by the Manhattan Department of Small Business Services revealed that Brooklyn boasts an increase in female-owned local businesses of 77% over the course of the last decade. Manhattan has also seen an increase in female-owned businesses of 43% over the last ten years. Women are taking on dominant roles in the work-place and I don’t have to read studies or look very far to observe this; in my own Company, the Opes Group, women comprise sixty percent of our staff.

Such a rapid increase is likely due to a variety of factors, but the struggling economy during the fairly recent recession was cited as a particularly significant factor. When one partner, usually, the father, lost his job, it is thought that the other partner, the woman, often started a business to pick up the slack. As the economy worsened this practice became less of a phenomenon and more of a trend; and now that the economy has largely recovered from the housing market collapse, these female-run/owned businesses are still in place, thus contributing to the above numbers.

There are in fact about 359,000 female-owned businesses throughout the five boroughs, which means that all in all, 32% of businesses are female-owned. However, the study cites that male-owned commercial entities still outrank female-owned entities in “everything from revenue to number of employees.” Male-owned businesses seem to generate 4.5 times the revenue and employ over three times as many people as female businesses. This may, however, be less reflective of the skill of female business operators and more on the young stage of their businesses – after all, the article noted this trend of female ownership really took off only recently.

According to WENYC (Women Entrepreneurs New York City), Manhattan “leads the nation in the number of women entrepreneurs.” Yet, there is still much work to be done. Women face obstacles such as a lack of education, poor training, and gender bias. Furthermore, women’s access to capital was “frequently referenced” as a challenge in female entrepreneurship.

As we celebrate Women’s History Month I thought we should take a moment to recognize the achievements of our female entrepreneurs. The statistics do however show that there is room for improvement and that’s where The Opes Group comes in. By arranging access to capital through a variety of financial services, we hope to aid in rectifying gender bias and give women a stronger presence in the NYC entrepreneurial community. For more information, please visit our website at www.opesgroup.online or reach out to me through my contact page.