Despite Dismal Report, Alaska Sees Upswing in Women in Business (KTVA.com exclusive)
Female entrepreneurs on the rise statewide
“I’m excited,” she said, grinning. “All I wanted to do is see this business succeed, and I know it’s going to, so I’m ready to move on.”
Homan is one of dozens of women entrepreneurs statewide who’ve achieved business success. According to the American Express report, while Alaska has experienced only 11 percent growth in women-owned businesses over the past fifteen years, the state ranks 27th nationwide when it comes to total economic clout. The report details a 77 percent increase in women-owned business revenues since 1997, and an 18 percent jump in employment.
The report estimates 18,500 women-owned companies in Alaska in 2012, up from 17,822 in 2007. This year, those businesses will employ an estimated 19,500 Alaskans, and generate nearly $3.5 million in sales.
Adrienne Wilkerson, who founded Beacon Publishing & Design a decade ago, said the growth has been steady since then. After she joined her business with Christensen’s to form Beacon Media & Marketing, she said it skyrocketed.
“We started off as a graphic design and web design company and we’ve now grown into a full-service marketing company,” Wilkerson said. “With the merger this year we’ve seen a really significant spike in businesses,”
Besides a rise in small businesses, Wilkerson said she’s pinpointed another trend: a wave of women who branched off to start their own companies after rising in the corporate ranks in typically male-dominated industries, including financial and creative sectors.
“It seems to be a lot of newer business, like in the last five years,” she said. “I would say the growth has been significant.”