How Pensacola's women fare in business ownership

  • February 7, 2016
  • /   Shannon Nickinson
  • /   entrecon

Tia Robbins talks about her company during the networking social at EntreCon in Pensacola, Florida. (Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO)

Is a sizable share of the rising tide of entrepreneurs sisters doing it for themselves?

In Pensacola especially, signs point to yes.

Forbes reports that one-fourth of all businesses in the country are owned by women and that a rising number of women-owned businesses are topping the $1 million mark.

Nationally women own 36 percent of businesses. In the Pensacola metro area, 38.5 percent of firms are owned by women. Women are equal owners in another 7.7 percent of Pensacola’s businesses.

Of the 14,718 businesses led or co-owned by women in the two-county area, 2,172 have paid employees.

Those businesses support 17,124 jobs in the Pensacola area’s economy.

However, a whopping 10,885 of those women-owned businesses don’t have paid employees — they are self-employed women fueling Pensacola’s small business economy.

Geri Stengel at Forbes says research shows that when women own businesses, they do it differently than men.

They are more likely to set up their business pursuits to support social change, to align those business pursuits with their values than men, and are more likely to give back to their communities through philanthropy than men.

Pensacola knows that well, thanks to the women of IMPACT 100, which has since 2005 given $7.2 million to 56 nonprofits to improve the quality of life in the Pensacola metro area.

IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area membership drive

The 2016 membership drive for IMPACT 100 is under way. The deadline to join is March 1, and to join, you need to donate $1,000. IMPACT’s member donations are pooled so that grants of at least $100,000 each may  be awarded to nonprofits that work in education; health and wellness; art and culture; environment, recreation and preservation; and family.

Find the membership event near you here.

Women, research suggests, put their money where they feel it will do the most good — for their families and for their communities.

The inaugural EntreCon entrepreneurship convention that the Studer Community Institute hosted at the Rex Theatre was a great object lesson in this.

{{business_name}}EntreCon Day 1-146

The crowd at one of the breakout sessions at EntreCon 2015.

Women played a prominent role among our keynote speakers — from Emily Ley to Celeste Beatty to Chandra Bell and Christa Pitts.

These women all made their own way, building a business out of their passion. As they found success, they have kept their integrity, been smart about managing their brand and brought other women onto their teams.

What was cooler than that? The number of women in the audience at EntreCon, seeking the support and practical advice they need to bring their own business dream life or to grow the enterprise they’ve already started.

EntreCon 2016 is set for Nov. 3-4. I can’t wait to see what great ideas bubble up this year.

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