I expect we all know innovative women who are working hard every day to keep Sonoma County businesses thriving and our great county moving forward. In recognition of the importance of small businesses to a robust economy the Board of Supervisors declared 2016 the Year of The Entrepreneur.
While I value all entrepreneurial efforts, my hat is off to Sonoma County’s small businesswomen who I consider trailblazers. Across the United States there are 9.9 million women-owned businesses that generate 1.6 trillion dollars in annual revenue. Women entrepreneurs are a force to be reckoned with, I’d say!! According to Nerd Wallet, the greater Santa Rosa-Sonoma County metropolitan region is the fifth-best urban area in the nation for women to start businesses based on a new analysis of federal data. This is a statistic we can all be proud of. Our region is also ranked sixth for population density of women-owned businesses — 3.43 per 100 residents — and seventh for women with median annual income as a percentage of men — 89 percent.
Entrepreneurs, and especially women entrepreneurs, are the backbone of Sonoma County’s economy as far as I am concerned. It is essential that we redouble our efforts to encourage entrepreneurship here, especially among diverse communities. As a policymaker I see that entrepreneurship is important for several central reasons:
- Entrepreneurs create new businesses, thus creating jobs
- Entrepreneurs offer new and innovative goods and services that sometimes break away from traditional and social norms
- We know that Sonoma County relies heavily on small business and entrepreneurs, and we as a community need to do all we can to support them
If you are an entrepreneur you have my commitment that I will do my part to give you the best possible chance for success. Please have a look at Sonoma County Economic Development Board’s Year of the Entrepreneur Facebook page for events and information designed to celebrate and support small businesses.