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Kansas City, MO April 2014 Lead Bank is pleased to announce the results of their most recent, original research for women-owned businesses in the Kansas City metropolitan area. This study examines the progress, or lack thereof, and outlook for women-owned business funding opportunities. This study included Kansas City members of the Women’s Business Center, including the Women’s Presidents’ Organization (WPO), Lead Bank clients and other like-minded business owners.
In a recent study led by Lead Bank, 35% of women business owners stated that they are planning acquisition strategies, but 75% can’t get the funding they need. “The information Lead Bank collected represents a “call to action” for Kansas City, which aims to be a recognized as America’s most entrepreneurial city,” said Josh Rowland, Vice Chairman of Lead Bank. Many women do not seek a new loan or line of credit due to a lack of confidence that they’ll successfully acquire these funds. Playing an important role in the U.S. economy, women own nearly 8.6 million businesses, employ 7.8 million workers and generate $1.3 trillion in sales. Businesses led by women are one of the fastest growing groups of entrepreneurs, according to the SBA Office of Advocacy. The 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, commissioned by American Express OPEN, stated that the number of women-owned firms has increased by 59% since 1997. However, Kansas has one of the lowest growths in numbers of women-owned firms at only 27%.
According to Sherry Turner, founder of the Women’s Business Center of Overland Park, KS, “Growth by acquisition can be stressful for all business owners, and women traditionally have practiced more conservative borrowing practices.” With more than 60% of women being self-employed for at least five years and 15% for twenty years, Turner remains optimistic. The percentage of women-owned businesses breaking through the one million dollar glass ceiling is less than one-third the rate of men. “Women-led business growth is at an all-time high with start-ups at 1.5 times the national average. Overall, women have been consistent in business growth with 2% achieving annual revenues of over $1 million”, Turner adds.
In an effort to better understand business dynamics, unique challenges and potential opportunities relevant to business owners, Lead Bank aims to create content that reflects the needs of Kansas City’s business community, specifically women-owned businesses, on a quarterly basis. Of the women surveyed, additional research found that more than 75% found marketing or advertising a challenge, citing cost as the main source of concern. Only 15% own the property their business operates out of, leaving the majority to lease commercial property and more than half were outsourcing some type of business aspect; typically from providers specializing in marketing or business services such as bookkeeping and tax preparation.
Recently launching a “Women in Business Initiative”, Lead Bank is committed to helping women within the Kansas City community reach their full potential. This initiative provides strategic and operational advising to these women business owners as well as access to competitive financing options, low fixed rates and long-term loans.
This is the first report of a five-year endeavor from Lead Bank to create quarterly research reports that will help shape Kansas City business and civic policies. Lead Bank is committed to producing meaningful, influential and creditable data that stimulates discussion among businesses, policy makers and other stakeholders in the economic vitality of Kansas City.
For more than 85 years, Lead Bank has remained a strong independent commercial bank dedicated to delivering smart financial solutions for business owners, managers and their families and communities. With two Missouri locations in Garden City and Lee’s Summit, Lead Bank provides treasury management, lending services, and personal client products. Lead Bank also offers advisory services to companies from book keeping to business brokerage services through its division, Lead Business Advisors. For additional information about Lead Bank, call (816) 220.8600 or visit www.leadbankonline.com