The face of female entrepreneurship is becoming a lot less white. Minority women
control 44 percent of women-owned businesses in the United States, up from 20 percent
in 1997, according to census data and new projections by research frm Womenable—even
though “there’s this notion that we don’t exist,” says Esosa Ighodaro, founder of the social
media shopping app CoSign and the networking organization Black Women Talk Tech.
“Entrepreneurship is very lonely, and even lonelier in minority communities.” Researchers
attribute the burst of entrepreneurial activity, led by black and Hispanic women, to
both educational progress and economic necessity. “Women have been taking control,
frankly, for centuries,” says Kathy McShane of the Small Business Administration’s Offce
of Women’s Business Ownership. “But now we’re talking about it.” � MICHELLE CHENG
28 ● INC. ● NOVEMBER 2018 ● ● ● DATA VISUALIZATION BY KRISTIN LENZ
2007 //2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
“I’m trying to make a better life
for my kids in the future,” says
Vandra Caldwell, a single mother
of three and co-founder of Mixins
Rolled Ice Cream in Omaha.
Men still get the vast majority of venture
capital—but an uptick in female-focused
funds is “encouraging women of color to enter
the feld,” says Miriam Rivera, co-founder
of Palo Alto, California–based Ulu Ventures.
As a minority, “you grow up knowing you
have to work for everything you have,”
says Junea Rocha, who co-founded Brazi
Bites, a 2018 Inc. 500 honoree based in
Portland Oregon, to control “my own destiny.” SOU
GENDER PAY GAP? Start your own thing—a Hispanic
woman earns 58 cents for every white man’s dollar.
*American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Indigenous Pacifc Islanders
... but in the past fve years, the
number of businesses they own has
fattened—while black and Hispanic
women are closing the gap.
White women have historically
made up the largest group of
female entrepreneurs ...
COLLEGE HELPS Among black people, women
earn 64 percent of all bachelor’s degrees.