Every year on November 19, Women’s Entrepreneurship Day in honor and celebration of female entrepreneurs and to discuss their invaluable contributions to the entrepreneurial community. The first female-owned business in the U.S. was established back in 1739. However, despite all the efforts made by women entrepreneurs since the Industrial Revolution, gender barriers, societal pressure, access to funding and mentorship, and lack of education still constrain their growth. Women Entrepreneur Day is organized by the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization (WEDO) and is recognized by the UN and over 120 countries. Pioneering women in various fields are awarded the WEDO Pioneer Awards on this day.



Women have been engaged in entrepreneurial ventures for centuries, but since the term ‘entrepreneur’ was exclusive to men, these women were never referred to with the same term. Most women-owned businesses in the 18th and 19th centuries were from inheritance or supplemented personal income.


South Carolina’s Eliza Lucas is an example of a woman who became a business leader by way of inheritance when she took over the family’s plantations when she was just 16 years of age hence going on record as the first woman to own a business in the U.S. Women began to own brothels, alehouses, taverns, and retail stores. Still, these businesses were considered shameful because of the societal perception of what women should and shouldn’t do. However, in the 1900s, perception shifted to the progressive, and feminism became a movement widely accepted, thus allowing people to refer to women in business as female entrepreneurs. Black women became the most enterprising of all in the United States in the early 20th Century as they established themselves in dressmaking, Black hair care, private home domestic work, and midwifery. Madam C.J. Walker, the first African American female millionaire, was one of the most successful women in this era.


In the late 1980s and 1990s, various organizations in the United States were founded and launched to offer education and financing to female entrepreneurs. Such organizations include the Women’s Business Development Center and Count Me In, but still, the women entrepreneurs could not find their equal footing with their male counterparts. Attention and support for female entrepreneurs have increased since 2000, and female-owned businesses now enjoy more access to finance than ever before.


In 2013, Wendy Diamond, after returning to the U.S. from volunteering with the Adelante Foundation in Honduras, started an initiative to empower women in business, now referred to as Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization (WEDO) which celebrated the first Women’s Entrepreneurship Day in the U.S. and other 140 countries on November 19, 2014. Since then, the day has been declared official by New York City and Los Angeles and recognized by the House of Representatives and the United Nations.




  1. New Businesses Daily

In the U.S., women launch up to 1,200 businesses daily


  1. More Women-owned Businesses

Women own up to 36% of small businesses worldwide.


  1. Country of Women Entrepreneurs

Ghana is the country that has the highest number of female entrepreneurs in the world, at 46.6%.


  1. Older Generation

Female entrepreneurs are between 40 and 59 years old.


  1. In the United States,

Women in the U.S. own up to 42% of all businesses, which translates to 12.3 million businesses.




Celebrating Women Entrepreneurs

Women must overcome daily challenges and obstacles to survive and grow in this male-dominated business world. On this day, their efforts and contributions to the economy are celebrated.


Promoting Women Entrepreneurs

Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization (WEDO) has programs that empower and encourage women to start businesses.


Focus on Female Entrepreneurs

WEDO hosts the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization Pioneer Awards, recognizing female trailblazers and leaders in various life and business categories.


  • There are 12.3 million women-owned businesses in the U.S.
  • Businesses owned by women in the U.S. generate $1.8 trillion annually.
  • Women in the U.S. own 40% of all businesses
  • Every day last year, women started 1,821 net new businesses.
  • Last year, women of color started 64% of all women-owned businesses.
  • There was an 87% growth in the businesses owned by Latina women.
  • Compared to 20 years ago, 114% more women entrepreneurs today exist.
  • Business is the primary source of over 62% of women in business.
  • There is a 35% jump in return on investment for private tech companies led by women.
  •  In First Round Capital’s portfolio, companies founded by women outperformed those founded by men by 36%.
  • Only 25% of women in business seek business financing.
  • Between 1997 and 2007, women-owned businesses added half a million jobs.
  • Women receive only 7%of venture funds for their startups.
  • Women have a 69.5% success rate on crowdfunding compared to men’s 61.4%.
  • Women-owned and women-led businesses received up to 57.4% of the SBA Microloan program’s loan.
  • Unlike men, female entrepreneurs ask for roughly $35,000 less in business financing.
  • Generally, men receive an average loan size of $43,916 compared to women’s $38,942-which is $5,000 less.

Are you a Woman-owned small business operating in the U.S.? 

It's time to get the recognition you deserve. For years most business awards have been focused on celebrating big corporations, but the Best of America Small Business Awards is the only business award for small businesses. Small businesses make up 99% of U.S. companies; this shows how big small companies are for our economy.  

BASA is the real deal, as it is prestigiously independent and was created with an unwavering love for small businesses. The award aims to showcase the best small businesses' notable efforts in growing and building economies, communities, and a better working world while encouraging more small businesses to get excited about new opportunities.

With over 100+ categories to choose from, the award is not influenced by big corporations and has no nepotism, vetting process, or big guys, always winning nature. BASA's independent council of judges only cares about one thing- your work!


The BASA statuette is a hand-made work of art uniquely created in Italy by the internationally acclaimed artist Ithaca. Learn more at www.basawards.com.