CLEVELAND: KeyBank is helping women business owners across the nation by volunteering 1,000 hours to help provide the expertise and guidance they need to succeed during National Women's Small Business Month.
Approximately 200 Key4Women representatives are each spending five hours with KeyBank clients who feel their business can thrive even more with this extra guidance.
Women business owners have shared that often the biggest problem they face is that empty chair when they're looking for advice, said Barb Smith, Director of Key4Women. We know the potential women have as business leaders is unlimited. Our goal is to make sure our clients are on the right path for their business by helping set goals and jointly discovering solutions to exceed those goals. We're discovering what financial wellness means to them and striving towards that.
A soon-to-be released Key4Women survey finds optimism among women business owners is up compared to last year. In 2018, 67% of owners surveyed say they were highly optimistic they would achieve their business goals in the next twelve months. In 2019, that number rose to 71%. Also, among those surveyed, 9 out of 10 plan to grow or expand their business within the next two years.
Many women business leaders also believe within the next five years, the proportion of women-owned businesses will be on the rise.
54% of women believe the number of businesses owned by men and women will be similar
27% say men will continue to own more businesses than women
19% believe women will own more businesses
We're being very specific and focused through this process. Each business owner who takes part in this mentorship program is assigned directly to a mentor meant specifically for their needs and the growth they want to see, said Smith. These aren't just KeyBank representatives either. We're using all of our resources to bring in mentors who are already in the business community, entrepreneurs, or other types of community leaders. Key4Women's mentorship program is available to any women business owners who want the help and guidance. The program will run throughout the month of October and mentoring sessions will continue through the end of the year.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 36% of all businesses in the U.S. are at least majority-owned by women. Among those businesses, 99.9% are classified as small businesses. Key4Women has been helping women business leaders reach their goals since being established in 2005.
For more information, head online to www.Key.com/1000hours
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