New Philly Network Says Job Growth Would Skyrocket If Women-Owned Businesses Expanded Their Teams

Brazen Philly wants to give women entrepreneurs the tools they need to realize their powerful growth potential.

Peshkova | iStock

There’s a new network in town that wants to give women entrepreneurs an extra boost. Membership organization Brazen Global just rolled out in Philadelphia and is targeting women founders who want to grow their businesses — and for good reason.

Brazen has some jarring numbers to back up its mission:

  • There are more than 11 million women-owned businesses in the U.S., but only 8 percent have employees, according to American Express’ 2017 State of Women-Owned Business Report.
  • If every women-owned business added just one member to their team, they could create more than 11 million jobs, more employment growth than in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 combined.

And for Pennsylvania, statistics show many women are running the ship on their own:

  • In the state, 88 percent of women-owned firms have no employee other than the owner.
  • If every woman-owned business in Pennsylvania added one employee, they would create nearly 337,000 jobs in the state.

And Brazen is shining a light on one more figure that supports its focus on women of color: Between 1997 and 2017, when the number of businesses in the United States increased by 44 percent, the number of women-owned firms increased by 114%–a rate 2.5 times the national average. And 71 percent of those net new women-owned firms are owned by women of color. (!!)

With its national member network and business –focused programs, the organization wants to help growth-seeking female presidents, founders and CEOs in Philadelphia who they say would benefit most.

“Many women-owned businesses today are innovating in sectors and industries ripe for growth, but they simply don’t personally identify as ‘high-growth’ or ‘tech’ yet,” said Jennifer Ehlen, CEO and founder of Brazen, in a statement. “With Brazen’s help, we hope women entrepreneurs will realize their growth aspirations, regardless of labels or definitions they choose to wear.”

Brazen Philadelphia launched last week with acting director Bonnie Bogle at its helm. Bogle started her first company when she was 23, when she knew nothing about running a business, according to a blog post. “‘Business’ was not in my repertoire, but I was passionate,” Bogle wrote. But ten years later, Bogle exited from Mapbox, the global company she founded and grew to a team of 225 people.

Women who join the Brazen network will have access to “Growth Groups,” Brazen’s signature program that features peer advisory groups of seven to nine female entrepreneurs that meet monthly to present business challenges and problem solve.

The organization also offers “Power Hours” when members can schedule an appointment with a legal, accounting, marketing or IT expert on a monthly basis. Brazen’s other member events and roundtables bring together “sister CEOs” to get inspired and learn about one another’s growth strategies.

Brazen is celebrating its arrival with a free event Thursday, May 3, where women can access free business resources and learn more about the organization. For more information about the launch party click here. To learn more about Brazen and membership opportunities click here.