According to the annual State of Women-Owned Business Report released by American Express OPEN, Georgia is one of the leading states in terms of women-owned businesses.
The report, which focuses nationally on women and enterprise, ranks Georgia as sixth on the list of top ten states with the greatest number of women-owned firms. Georgia came in with a holding of 308,000 women-owned businesses as of 2013.
Georgia has seen a 112 percent increase in the number of female owned businesses since 1997, taking the lead as the only state that has seen growth over 100 percent. The report considers growth in terms of the number of firms and employment and revenues that these firms are contributing to the economy.
Additional findings include a 75.7 percent increase in growth in firm revenues along with a 24.7 percent growth in employment from 1997-2013.
Shemeek Babbs, a marketing major with a minor in hospitality administration at the Robinson College of Business, is the sole owner and operator of a small private start-up, MiniDiva Bowtique.
Shemeek began by designing and hand-crafting hair accessories and tutus for her daughter. When others took notice and started putting in requests, MiniDiva Bowtique was born in 2011. It specializes in custom handmade hair accessories and tutus for children. Shemeek is considering expanding to t-shirts soon.
She attributes her success to the many networking opportunities in Atlanta, consistency in the quality of her products and timeliness when delivering her product to her customers.
“Producing quality work gains a lot of referrals,” she said.
Shemeek’s advice to hopeful female entrepreneurs is to have passion.
“It’s not an overnight thing,” she said. “I’m going into my third, fourth year and sometimes I have my ups, sometimes I have my downs, but its something I’m passionate about.”