All of us at Renaissance are thrilled to invite you in to join us in celebrating our trailblazing women entrepreneurs. This year’s Women’s History Month is especially exciting as The National Women’s History Project declared “Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business” as its annual theme.
I am proud that supporting women to achieve their true potentials, create wealth and establish economic self sufficiency through small business ownership is what we do at Renaissance not only during Women’s History month, but year-round. Our training classes, access to capital, markets and networks, and ongoing support bring women together in very powerful and empowering ways to achieve entrepreneurial success.
As you may know, while the number of women-owned firms in the U.S. has grown from 5,417,034 in 1997 to an estimated 9,087,200 in 2014, an impressive 67.8% increase, there is still much more that needs to be done. According to the Kauffman Foundation, regardless of race, women are half as likely as men to own businesses with 2 or more employees. The persistent gender business gap continues, with women starting businesses that are significantly smaller and less profitable than our male counterparts.
Our featured event for Women’s History month 2017 will be our Renaissance Women’s Network held on International Women’s History Day, March 8th from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm at our SoMa location. This inspiring event will feature a panel of international trailblazing women entrepreneurs: Maria de Davila from El Salvador, owner of Artesana Sausages; Maritza Hurtado from Colombia, owner of Señora Maritza Catering; and Kofo Domingo from Nigeria, owner of MKD & Associates. We hope you can come, but if not, please join us for our upcoming Renaissance Women’s Network events – held on the second Wednesday of every month with each featuring a panel of dynamic, inspiring women entrepreneurs.
As we shine the spotlight on women this month, we know that this celebration is symbolic of the larger struggle for inclusion and equity. 76% of Renaissance’s clients are women. While our numbers show that women typically seek out business support more than men, we know that women are not the only ones who need help navigating the challenges and opportunities of business ownership.
Renaissance’s doors are open to all who are seeking business assistance, and we make extra effort to reach out to those who face barriers to opportunity. We know that by lifting only one segment of the population we would not achieve our vision to create economic opportunity and access for all. We invite everyone who wants to be part of that vision to join us.
This Women’s History Month, as we honor the contributions women make and have made to society, I especially want to honor all the women and men who are fighting the good fight to ensure that we can uphold women’s rights, human rights and access to the economic and social opportunities that will create a better future for us all.
- By Sharon Miller, Renaissance CEO