African American Women Entrepreneurs

“Women business owners are showing no signs of slowing down and are aggressively starting and building successful businesses,” according to a study from Wells Fargo Bank and the Center for Women’s Business Research. Women-owned small businesses in the top 50 metropolitan areas grew 30 percent from 1997- 2004, compared to a 10 percent growth rate for all firms, the study found.

Anita Conner believes the reason why women, particularly African-American women, tend to be successful in owning their own businesses is because women “have a stronger faith. If you look at our (black) churches, 80 percent of them are made up of women.” It has taken faith and determination on Conner’s part to establish her own Certified Public Accounting firm.

Pregnancy during her senior year in high school did not alter her vision of attending college. Her goal was to get a degree in accounting. She accomplished that goal and went to work for corporate America – all the while focusing on her objective to become an entrepreneur. Married with two children and living a two-income lifestyle, Anita made a decision to break from corporate America and start her own business.

Anita believes women in business are natural in many respects because “we’ve always had to multi-task” taking care of the family, household budgets… We’ve always had to be the backbone -- holding everything up in spite of it all.”