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Local News

Women Entrepreneurs Used the Pandemic to Seize the Business Gap 

Credit: iStock

Jeff Fuentes Gleghorn

A study from Gusto, a human resources firm, found that 49 percent of people who started a new business in 2020 were women, compared to 27 percent in the years before the coronavirus. The news is a little bittersweet – Gusto found that many women were starting businesses out of necessity. Women were more likely to lose their jobs as a result of the pandemic. Men have also had an easier time getting back into the workforce, and today women make up over 68 percent of people still unemployed as a result of the pandemic. Since the job market was so hard for women, many felt they had little choice but to start their own company and be self-employed.

Regardless of the reason, women have closed some of the gap in business ownership. According to the Small Business Administration, women in the United States owned 43 percent of all small businesses in 2021. Wisconsin is slightly behind the national average, with women owning 41 percent of small businesses. Governor Tony Evers is already moving to break down major barriers to women entrepreneurs with his plan to boost tax credits for child and family caretakers. Women are much less likely to maintain normal working hours when normal child care is disrupted, and the pandemic has increased child care costs. If Governor Evers’ plan goes through, Wisconsin may be able to catch up to the rest of the nation.