Monday, July 19, 2004

Martha: Helping Women Escape From ...

low-income and on to become entrepreneurs!

Yes, you heard it here first. Martha Stewart has long been renowned for teaching women the domestic arts but now, as part of an effort to reduce her presumptive jail sentence, she wants to teach women how to tidy other people's homes, and their hotel rooms.

To read the full article by Dan Ackman, visit Forbes: but here's a glimpse at some of the data presented on women-owned businesses:

• Of course, hiring women to clean is hardly a new idea, and neither is the idea of women starting their own businesses. According to a study by the Center for Women's Business Research that has been cited by President Bush and Treasury Secretary John Snow, women own a 50% or greater stake in nearly half of all privately held businesses in the U.S.

• Like the vast majority of male-owned businesses, 77% of women-owned companies are sole proprietorships with no employees, the study says.

• It also says that women-owned businesses are growing faster than small businesses generally.

• This pattern is borne out internationally as well. Women control 42% of all "startup" businesses, according to the 2003 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, an international study sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation. But when one considers "entrepreneurial firms," that is those who are likely to grow and add employees, the percentage controlled by women worldwide falls to 28%.

• As of 2004, the Center for Women's Business Research study estimated there were 10.6 million private, women-owned firms in the U.S. If Stewart's plea for community service works, there may be a few more. Without her help, there are likely to be a lot more anyway.

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