The Women in Trucking (WIT) association and Expediter Services are joining forces to launch a new program that aims to help establish 150 new women-owned small businesses within in the transportation sector over the next 12 months.
The program will offer accessible financing as well as operational and business support for women interested in entering the trucking industry, especially as drivers, noted Ellen Voie, WIT’s president and CEO, in a statement.
“One of the goals of WIT is to address obstacles a woman might face in her career. For drivers, this is often about obtaining funding, which our partnership with Expediter Services will eliminate,” Voie explained. “Not only will she receive financial support, she will learn how to become a small business owner in the process. We are so excited to be able to provide this service to our members.”
The launch of this program also occurs at a time when the number of businesses owned by women in the U.S. has more than doubled in 20 years, as has their revenue, according to the annual State of Women-Owned Businesses report, commissioned by American Express OPEN.
Women are starting an average of 849 new businesses per day, up 3% from last year, according to that study, with 11.6 million women-owned businesses in the U.S., employing nearly 9 million people and generating more than $1.7 trillion in revenue.
In the past year, the growth rate in the number of women-owned firms increased the most for these three industries: construction (15%), arts, entertainment & recreation (12%) and other services (12%), the report found.
Yet the huge gain in the number of women-owned businesses and their revenue growth over the last 20 years has not been matched by employment growth, particularly after the Great Recession, according to American Express’s research.
The company’s study found that over the last two decades, while the number of women-owned firms increased 114% and revenues grew 103%, employment grew only 27%. In the past year, job growth at women-owned companies is nearly flat with an increase of only 0.1%.