October is Women's Small Business Month.

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In 1972, there were a little over 400,000 women-owned businesses in the United States. Until 1988, women needed a male relative to co-sign if they wanted to apply for a business loan. That same year, the Women’s Business Ownership Act increased Small Business Association access to capital to provide financial assistance to organizations geared toward women-owned small businesses. By 2019, women-owned businesses represented 42% of all U.S. businesses and generated $1.9 trillion worth of revenue. Today, there are over 13 million women-owned businesses and counting.

Every day in October, On Hand Development Corporation is putting a spotlight on a woman in Hand County who owns her own business on the Miller, SD Facebook page. Our hope is to showcase 31 of some of the amazing women in our community that have owned or currently own a small business and their impact on our community. This is a time to recognize the countless achievements of our communities’ female entrepreneurs and the positive impact they are making on jobs and our economy. What started as a small list of women that owns businesses in Hand County, turned into a list of 45 (and growing) women who are all making a difference in our business community.

We wanted a wide range of different women in small businesses to hear their stories. We interviewed professionals, services, retail, health, fitness, food and drink. We interviewed women who have owned businesses for 40 years and women that just bought businesses last month. We interviewed women who own Main Street businesses and women who own at home businesses. Women in their 20’s to women in their 60’s. We wanted a wide range and that wasn’t hard to find.

What we did find out is all of these women are an inspiration to the next group of females wanting to start a business and they all gave such incredible, encouraging advice. We found out that each woman has a very unique, incredible story. These women started businesses that created jobs, they created businesses that kept people in our community spending money, they chased their dreams, bought a business that they always wanted to own, they helped people, they made people feel better about themselves, they devoted their time and energy to provide a service or good, and they all love being in business in Hand County. We found out that women like owning their own business because they like helping people, setting their own schedule, the chance to use their strengths and creative minds in a positive way and like the challenge.

This women in small business month might not seem like such a big deal to other communities, but in Hand County it is a BIG deal. Women here are getting things done. They are doing all the things to keep our community thriving. I am so thankful for all of the women in small business and for the ones that we interviewed to tell their story and be encouraging to the next group of female entrepreneurs. If you are a woman reading this and are thinking about starting your own business, give me a call. I would love to connect you to one of the amazing women in our community who made their dream come true so they can help you make your dream come true.

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