Wednesday, July 15, 2015

2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report

For the fifth year, Womenable, an organization that works to improve the systems that support women's enterprise creation and growth, has combined forces with American Express OPEN to analyze trends in women's enterprise growth and development. The result is the 2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report.

According to Womenable's website, the report finds the following:

  • The number of women-owned firms in the U.S. continues to climb, and is now estimated to have surpassed 9.4 million enterprises – 30% of all businesses in the country;
  • The revenue generated by these enterprises is now estimated to stand at nearly $1.5 trillion, and has increased by 79% since 1997; and
  • Women-owned firms now employ over 7.9 million workers (excluding owners), providing one in seven jobs among privately-owned businesses.

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported on the research, noting that while Pennsylvania has consistently claimed the seventh-highest number of female-owned firms among all states and the District of Columbia for the past 18 years, "the state also regularly lags behind much of the U.S. based on the rate at which women-owned firms are expanding revenues and employment."

“We’ve still got a long way to go in helping grow these companies,” said Jayne Huston, E-Magnify Director. 

Read the report's executive summary here

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

SBA Pgh. District Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Sidney Huffmyer

For Sidney Jake Huffmyer, it never was all about the bass… or the treble; it was all about making an imprint. And he has.

Today, thousands of Pittsburgher’s rock t-shirts created and printed by the musician who sits at the helm of 3E Studios and is the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Pittsburgh District Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Huffmyer and his cousin launched 3E Studios in his parents’ basement with a modest goal of doubling their sales each year.

 “The name stands for easy, efficient and enjoyable,” he explained. “Our first job was giving a pizza shop shirts at cost if they would stuff our flyers in their boxes. That’s how we started, and we made about $2000 in sales our first year.”

He sought assistance from the University of Pittsburgh Small Business Development Center. Eight years and a few moves later, 3E Studios now occupy a large space on Western Avenue. Using the SBA’s microloan program, they’ve secured money from the Northside Community Development Fund to upgrade their equipment. Armed with the new capacity of printing more than 500 shirts per hour, Huffmyer said 3E prints everything from family reunion commemorative tees to large, contact jobs for major area businesses like the Pittsburgh Penguins and Giant Eagle.

Want to rock your business? Call the SBA Pittsburgh District Office at 412-395-6560 and they’ll put you in touch with their network of resource partners that can help your business idea grow from basement to boardroom.

Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.