The last decade has been a great time for women entrepreneurs. Nationally, women-owned firms generated $3 trillion in annual revenues in 2009, and one in five businesses in the U.S. with revenues over $1 million are woman-owned firms.
More and more of these entrepreneurs are succeeding in male-dominated industries. Take, for example, Ann Kastendieck, owner of V.L. Clark Chemical Company. When the former accountant purchased the business in 1991, sales were $20,000. In 2009, V.L. Clark had revenue of $7 million.
This growth is partly driven by Kastendieck's desire to persevere as a woman in the chemical industry.
"There were always those people out there who wouldn't do business with me because I'm a woman," she said. "But those are the people who ended up helping me because they make me even more determined to find suppliers who will work with me and build relationships with my customers."
--Ron Ameln, SBM