Women-owned businesses at all-time high in Texas
Women-owned business are on the rise in Texas. The Texas comptroller just released new numbers that show between 2007 and 2016, the number of women-owned firms in the U.S. rose five times as fast as the total number of companies.
"Twenty years ago, when I entered the workforce as an owner, it was very very different,” said co-owner of Republic X in Downtown El Paso, Laura Miramontez. "Very few women decided they wanted to take the risk."
The mother and business owner has confidence, and she has earned it.
"I wanted to be Wonder Woman. And I am,” joked Miramontez. "In 1999, I opened up a general construction company. In those 17 years, I once had about 100 men working under me."
She says she hopes to help young El Paso girls understand that they can be Wonder Woman too.
“Women empowering other women… that's so crucial. For women to be a sisterhood and help each other is so important,” Miramontez said.
Her goals include revitalizing Downtown El Paso and creating jobs. She just opened her new salon, spa and barbershop this month. She says bold women like her aren't rare in El Paso.
"Next door is Healthy Bite, owned by a woman. Next door to that is a small business woman's boutique owned by a woman,” Miramontez said. “Another woman-owned business next to that, I think, Pike Street. Then there’s the flower shop on the inside, too. So this corner is dominated by women! It's really interesting."
"Women can do anything. It's possible for any boy or girl,” said Republic X’s Apprentice in Business, Santiago Sanchez.
"Just pick a job and follow through. It doesn't matter what it is, you can do it,” said East El Paso resident Alan Calzada.
The Texas comptroller said women account for 47 percent of the U.S. labor force, and the number of female owners is rising too. The Comptroller’s Office just released new research that shows women-owned businesses now account for 38 percent of all U.S. firms, employ eight percent of the private-sector workforce and earn four percent of the nation's business revenues.
"I think it would be wonderful to say we've reached a point where there's complete gender equality in all segments of society,” said Downtown El Paso resident Robert Palacios. “But I think the reality is there does continue to be a certain amount of discrimination that women face in different aspects of the workplace."
New U.S. Census Bureau data shows Texas is second in the country for the highest number of women-owned firms. Only California has a higher number.