A.J. and I managed to sneak in a mini-vacation to Charleston, S.C., in late October, which included great weather, relaxing on beaches, hiking and wildlife viewing at Francis Marion National Forest, a fantastic dinner at Husk and history at Fort Moultrie and the Philip Simmons House. Here we are taking a boat ride on the Folly River.

The annual State of Women-Owned Businesses Report was out in September, and with it came exciting news: women-owned businesses are growing twice as fast on average than all businesses nationwide.

Women-owned businesses represent 42 percent of all businesses — almost 13 million — employing 9.4 million workers and generating revenue of $1.9 trillion, according to the report, which analyzes the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners and factors in relative changes in Gross Domestic Product.

U.S. women started an average of 1,817 new businesses per day between 2018 and 2019. Over the past five years, the number of women-owned businesses increased at a 3.9 percent annual rate between 2014 and 2019, compared with a 1.7 percent increase in all businesses. There are an estimated 350,199 women-owned businesses in North Carolina, employing over 280,000 people and with $41.3 billion in sales, the report stated.

The news is timely as this issue of All About Women highlights women who are business leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators in our community: from Lillie Shull Dougherty, now recognized as the third co-founder of Appalachian State University; to Lisa Cooper, who leads the venerable and growing Mast General Store; to Megan Kelley, whose Pop Up Boone enterprise is making waves locally.

As you plan your goals and intentions for the new year, maybe it’s the time to pursue your own dreams and ideas!

Happy Holidays,


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