Study: Women-owned businesses growing in Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A new study shows businesses owned by women in the Commonwealth are growing faster than any others.

The Richmond-based firm Chmura Economics and Analytics released the results Wednesday. The Richmond chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) commissioned the survey.

Erin Powell is among the 86 percent of female business owners cited in the study that started their businesses from scratch in Virginia.

Powell owns Ginger Juice Co. in Richmond, an all-natural cold press juice company named after and inspired by her son, Sayer.

“He got picky, and he wouldn’t eat his veggies so I started juicing for him,” she said.

Powell decided to take the leap and start her business after her husband died tragically.

“That really put a lot into perspective. That life is short—and if there’s something you want to do, and you’re really passionate about it, our souls just crave for us to follow that passion,” said Powell.

Powell started selling at local farmers markets, and now less than a year later, she has a retail location. They had their grand opening October 29.

“It has beyond exceeded our expectations,” she said.

The new study takes a look at the state of women-owned businesses in Virginia. It shows they are increasing at a rate of four times faster in the Commonwealth, and are adding employees at nine times the state’s employment growth rate.

“I project that we’re going to see double-digit growth for the company,” said Powell.

Members of NAWBO say while the study shows improvement, there is still work to be done, like helping women better finance their businesses, and diversifying the type of companies created.

“As women, we have a lot to offer, and I think sometimes we’re on our worst enemy. If we don’t think we can do it, then we can’t,” said Powell.

NAWBO will use the results to start outreach and educational programs for women.

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