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More women starting businesses in US

[ 2012-10-29 09:25] 来源:VOA     字号 [] [] []  
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Almost one-third of American small businesses are owned by women. And according to the US Census Bureau, that number is on the rise, especially in fields that were once considered male-only territory.

A few decades ago, this truck would likely have belonged to a company owned by a man. But it actually belongs to Barbara Ayers.

She is president and CEO of Apple Transfer, based in Fredericksburg, Virginia, which helps move households and businesses all across the United States, and overseas.

Ayers started the company with her brother in 1988.

"We started out, it was just my brother and me, and we actually had one small truck," Ayers recalls. "He did the moving, and I took care of the office."

Today, she oversees a fleet of trucks and a large storage facility, and employs up to 100 people during peak moving season.

Ana Harvey of the U.S. Small Business Administration says women-owned businesses in the U.S. are flourishing.

"If you think about 1979, only 5 percent of privately owned businesses in this country were owned by women," Harvey notes. "So here we are, in almost 2013, and 30 percent of the privately owned businesses are owned by women."

Harvey says the trend started with legislation passed in the 1970s.

"Back then, there was an act passed that allowed women to actually get a loan without having a male co-signer. That really made a difference in terms of women business ownership," Harvey adds.

And then, says Harvey, there's the economy which has suffered. Many of the women who've been laid off have decided to take matters into their own hands and become business owners.

Harvey, who used to be a small business owner herself, says the federal government is there to help women in a number of ways. "Last year we helped about 160,000 women with business plans, marketing plans, social media interactions, everything that you need to build a business," Harvey explains.

Barbara Ayers says special federal government programs offered to small, female-owned companies have helped her procure government contracts. And it has opened doors in areas that have traditionally been closed to women.

"I'm in the trucking industry and so I'm a novelty because this is traditionally a male-dominated industry," Ayers notes. "So I sometimes find resistance. No reflection on men, but it is just the attitude and the thought of the way that it was."

But Ayers says it has all been worthwhile and adds that it is a tremendous feeling of pride when sees one of her own trucks on the highway.

That feel of pride is being shared by more and more American women entrepreneurs.


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(来源:VOA 编辑:Julie)