UConn Stamford conference targets women entrepreneurs
There were 8.9 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. last year, accounting for about 23 million jobs and representing a $3 trillion impact on the economy.
Since the start of the recession, women-owned businesses have grown 274,000 jobs, said Claire Leonardi, CEO of Connecticut Innovations. Despite those gains, there were still three challenges that existed for women: access to capital, access to federal contracts and access to businesses, training and counseling.
“On the capital side, only $1 out of $23 that are lent to small businesses go to women-owned companies,” Leonardi said. “That’s only 7 percent of the venture capital. On the supply side, only 10 percent of venture capitalists are women. While these statistics are frustrating, real sustainable change only comes from demonstrated business success. And this comes from being really good at what we do. We need female CEOs because women are as talented as men can be and it takes talented people to build companies.”
Leonardi fired up the 350 women attending the University of Connecticut’s second annual women entrepreneurs conference at the campus in downtown Stamford.
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