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changethestoryvt. org | info@changethestoryvt. org facebook. com/changethestoryvt. org @changestoryvt

changethestoryvt. org | [email protected] org facebook. com/changethestoryvt. org @changestoryvt

About Change The Story: Change The Story VT is a multi-year strategy to align

About Change The Story: Change The Story VT is a multi-year strategy to align policy, program, and philanthropy to significantly advance women’s economic security in Vermont. It is fueled by the Vermont Women’s fund, the Vermont Commission on Women, and Vermont Works for Women. ü Change The Story VT focuses on systemic change in policy or practice and challenges assumptions and/or attitudes that limit women’s aspiration and/or achievements. ü It is aggressively collaborative, believing that moving the needle on these issues is only possible through a broad-based, collaborative effort across sectors. ü It holds that women’s economic wellbeing isn’t just good for women – it’s good for the economy.

About our partners: The Vermont Women’s Fund works to improve the lives of young

About our partners: The Vermont Women’s Fund works to improve the lives of young women and girls in Vermont by targeting philanthropic giving, forging statewide strategic partnerships, funding research, and supporting programs that address their fundamental economic, educational, and social needs. The Vermont Commission on Women (VCW) is an independent non-partisan state commission dedicated to advancing rights and opportunities for women in Vermont. VCW encourages Vermont employers to sign the Vermont Equal Pay Compact and commit to tangible, concrete steps that will help close the wage gap Works between and women. Vermont formen Women helps women and girls recognize their potential and explore, pursue, and excel in work that leads to economic independence.

A note about these statistics in this report: ü All data, unless specifically noted,

A note about these statistics in this report: ü All data, unless specifically noted, is specific to Vermont and was sourced from the 2012 US Census Survey of Business Owners (SBO), the full results of which were released in early 2016. ü This report focuses on women-or female owned businesses, defined by the US Census as firms in which women own at least 51% equity, interest or stock. We do not include firms in which women own a majority interest that is less than 51%. ü We excluded publicly-held businesses from our analysis b/c they are not considered to be women-owned by the above definition. We cannot determine the gender of shareholders from existing data sources. ü Vermont’s size and lack of racial diversity combine to limit the ways in which we are able to break down data into smaller subsets without comprising reliability.

Among the findings: Women-owned businesses are vital to Vermont’s economy. Women in VT own

Among the findings: Women-owned businesses are vital to Vermont’s economy. Women in VT own 23, 417 businesses, which employ 36, 326 people, and generate annual revenues of approximately $2. 2 billion. Although growing at a faster rate than businesses owned by men, women-owned firms in VT are fewer in number, smaller in size, and lower in annual revenues. Between 2007 -2011, the number of female-owned businesses grew 15%; during the same period, the number of male-owned businesses grew by only 6%. Women-owned businesses generate 9% of gross revenues and employ 12% of workers in privately-held VT firms. Women business owners are significantly underrepresented in 9 of the 10 highest grossing sectors. This limits financial opportunities for individual women and their potential contributions to VT’s economy.

Among the findings (continued): Women-owned businesses have the potential to play a much bigger

Among the findings (continued): Women-owned businesses have the potential to play a much bigger role in Vermont’s economic development. If the percent of women-owned businesses that are employers matched that of male-owned businesses, and those firms had the same average receipts, it would add $3. 8 billion to Vermont’s economy. If Vermont women chose business ownership at the same rate as men, it would result in more than 10, 500 new businesses. If just 1 in 4 of the existing 20, 786 women-owned businesses without employees hired one worker, it would result in an additional 5, 200 new jobs. Maximizing the potential of women-owned businesses – indeed of all VT businesses – requires new and better data. While existing business-related data sources can provide reliable top-line statistics, they are less useful in revealing nuanced information about the motivations, challenges or opportunities experienced by VT business owners. Focusing on the finer points of what makes a business successful is critical to VT’s economic future.

Women-owned businesses are vital to VT’s economy.

Women-owned businesses are vital to VT’s economy.

Women-owned businesses are vital to VT’s economy.

Women-owned businesses are vital to VT’s economy.

Women-owned firms in VT are fewer in number, smaller in size, and lower in

Women-owned firms in VT are fewer in number, smaller in size, and lower in annual revenues.

Fewer in Number

Fewer in Number

Smaller in Size

Smaller in Size

Lower Annual Revenues

Lower Annual Revenues

Trends in Revenue Growth

Trends in Revenue Growth

Revenue Gap in VT Female-owned firms generate 19 cents to every dollar generated by

Revenue Gap in VT Female-owned firms generate 19 cents to every dollar generated by male-owned businesses.

Where women own businesses…and where they don’t.

Where women own businesses…and where they don’t.

The revenue gap holds true even in sectors where women are a majority of

The revenue gap holds true even in sectors where women are a majority of owners.

Factors that may contribute to the revenue gap. ü Limited access to capital. ü

Factors that may contribute to the revenue gap. ü Limited access to capital. ü A more conservative approach to borrowing. ü Lack of family supports (access to child or elder care. ü Limited opportunities to earn government contracts. ü Fewer visible female mentors or role models.

Women-owned businesses have the potential to play a much bigger role in VT’s economic

Women-owned businesses have the potential to play a much bigger role in VT’s economic development.

Women-owned businesses have the potential to play a much bigger role in VT’s economic

Women-owned businesses have the potential to play a much bigger role in VT’s economic development.

Women-owned businesses have the potential to play a much bigger role in VT’s economic

Women-owned businesses have the potential to play a much bigger role in VT’s economic development.

Women-owned businesses have the potential to play a much bigger role in VT’s economic

Women-owned businesses have the potential to play a much bigger role in VT’s economic development.

Maximizing the potential of women- and male-owned businesses requires new and better data. ü

Maximizing the potential of women- and male-owned businesses requires new and better data. ü What is the detailed demographic profile of VT business ownersacross revenue thresholds and across sectors? ü What factors drive the significant revenue gap between VT’s female - and male-owned businesses? ü What do we know about access to investment capital and its use by business owners to fuel growth? ü What is the frequency with which women-owned businesses benefit from local, state, and federal government contracting opportunities, and what are the strategies for increasing this vital resource for revenue growth? ü What are trends related to business survival rates, revenues, and the transition from a solo operation to hiring employees? ü Why are women-owned businesses underrepresented in higher

More questions we should ask. When crafting major state policy decisions, priorities, and program

More questions we should ask. When crafting major state policy decisions, priorities, and program evaluations that relate to business development: ü Are our decisions consistently informed by data that is disaggregated by gender? If not, why not? ü Are the voices and perspectives of women as business owners solicited and adequately represented? ü Are we sufficiently focusing on reducing barriers that particularly affect female entrepreneurs, such as access to child care, after-school programming and options for elder care? When publicly highlighting the value and contributions of Vermont entrepreneurs: ü Do we make a point of regularly featuring the stories and achievements of female entrepreneurs? When considering inve: ü Do we make a point of regularly featuring the stories and achievements of female entrepreneurs?

More questions we should ask. When considering investments in economic development (whether in a

More questions we should ask. When considering investments in economic development (whether in a region, industry or individual firm): ü Are we doing what we can to support the growth of more womenowned companies and individual female entrepreneurs, especially in high-revenue, high-growth fields? ü Are we investing in and leveraging the impact of existing, successful supports for women business owners and entrepreneurs? When investing state dollars in contracted services or products: ü Do we intentionally invite women-owned businesses to bid on state contracts? ü Do we consistently report and track the gender ratio of businesses that have been awarded state contracts across state agencies? When exploring opportunities for work, education, or training with women: ü Do we support them in considering business ownership as a viable option? ü Are we doing enough to make potential entrepreneurs aware of the resources, supports, and programs that are available.

3 things you can do today: Get inspired and stay current on the latest

3 things you can do today: Get inspired and stay current on the latest data, resources, events related to advancing women's economic status in Vermont. Employers are invited to sign on to the compact and commit to tangible, concrete steps that will help close the wage gap between men and women. If you work in or study STEM in Vermont, consider creating an online Fab. Fem career profile and inspire young women with your story.

changethestoryvt. org | info@changethestoryvt. org facebook. com/changethestoryvt. org @changestoryvt

changethestoryvt. org | [email protected] org facebook. com/changethestoryvt. org @changestoryvt