September 28, 2022
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Study: COVID-19, Other Crises, Hit Women Business Owners Harder, Limit Innovation, Growth

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small business entrepreneur Kim Centers
A female business owner. Photo credit: UN Women, Joe Saade, via flickr.com

Only a third of women-owned businesses have returned to pre-pandemic levels of operation, compared to nearly half of their male counterparts, according to research by an equity advocate.

The study, by San Diego’s Kim Center for Social Balance, sets out to identify issues faced by women in business, including how COVID impacts their growth. To do this, surveyed the center 490 business owners and executives in San Diego in May and June of 2021.

The questions, asked in English, Spanish and Korean, focused not only on COVID-19 issues, but on other topics related to equity and access.

The researchers concluded that “crises like COVID have exacerbated systematic inequalities that prevent women entrepreneurs from fully transforming and growing.”

For example, they found that 25% of female business owners failed to tap into federal pandemic aid funds because they didn’t know if they qualified. Another 13% of female owners do not think they can return to pre-pandemic levels of operations.

The center argues though that “San Diego has an important opportunity to electrify the business ecosystem and social prosperity by maximizing“ the power of women business owners to build ”the region as a economic power on (a) national scale. “

The center also cites a 2016 McKinsey & Company study that estimates that gender equity can increase San Diego’s GDP by at least 9%.

Tony Young, president and CEO of RISE San Diego, said the organization is “proud to partner” with the Kim Center, as part of “our consistent efforts to achieve equity in the workplace, as well as in all areas of our society. , especially in San Diego County. ”

RISE supports the Kim Center program, the LEAPS Alliance, an attempt to measure business leadership, growth and culture and its impact on equity.

“We urge key stakeholders to join the LEAPS coalition, and support women in business (in receiving) the fair and equitable treatment and consideration they deserve,” said Young, also a former San Diego City Council member.



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