According to Connected Tennessee’s recently published report, Broadband: Empowering Women-Owned Businesses, there are an estimated 155,600 women-owned businesses in Tennessee, employing 121,100 people and generating sales of approximately $23.
5 billion each year. Moreover, the number of women-owned businesses has grown by 56% since 1997, surpassing the national average (54.1%) and ranking Tennessee 17th in the nation in terms of growth for the total number of women-owned businesses.
Considering the impact that women-owned businesses can have on Tennessee’s economic growth, it is vitally important that women-owned businesses are empowered to meet the challenges that they will face in today’s global marketplace, and broadband allows businesses to increase efficiency, improve market access, advertise jobs, reduce costs, and increase the speed of both transactions and interactions.
The Connected Tennessee report shows that 76% of women-owned businesses in Tennessee subscribe to broadband service; higher than the statewide average of 72% of businesses.
“Broadband service provides a valuable technological advantage to women-owned businesses by affording them the opportunity to reach out beyond their communities and provide services throughout the world,” said Tennessee Economic Council on Women (TECW) Executive Director Dr. Phyllis Qualls-Brooks. “In the TECW’s 2010 Study on the Economic Impact of Women-Owned Businesses in Tennessee, it was reported that women-owned businesses are a bright spot in the overall economic picture of the state, growing at a higher rate than male-owned businesses, even during times of economic hardship. In 2010, Tennessee ranked 17th nationally in the number of women-owned businesses, making investments like broadband infrastructure and even greater opportunity for economic growth and exposure.”
Additional key findings from this report include:
- Among women-owned businesses that do not use broadband, two-thirds (66% or approximately 7,000 businesses)report that the main reason that they don’t subscribe to broadband is because they don’t need it or they feel their business is getting by without it.
- On average, women-owned businesses earn about one-third (31%) of their revenues from online transactions. Based on the businesses’ self-reported annual revenues, this equates to a median annual value of $240,000 in online sales. Statewide, this translates into approximately $967 million in annual online revenues for Tennessee’s women-owned businesses.
- Compared to Internet-connected women-owned businesses in other states surveyed by Connected Nation, women-owned businesses in Tennessee utilize fewer online business applications.
- Three out of ten small businesses that are owned by women allow their employees to telework from home, and one in four earn revenues from online sales.
- Overall, 9% of Tennessee’s women-owned businesses subscribe to voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) service, 29% allow their employees to telework, and 55% have a business website.
“Tennessee women have long been innovators in a market that has not always been accepting,” said Connected Tennessee Executive Director Corey Johns. “It’s encouraging to see that women-owned businesses use broadband at rates higher than the statewide average. Businesses that subscribe to broadband reap the benefits of this vital resource and our goal would be to see each and every woman-owned business in Tennessee learn to leverage the power of high-speed Internet to lower their costs of doing business, increase productivity, and improve their overall bottom line by reaching new markets only accessible online.”