Women-Owned Businesses Continue to Grow in Number

The Women Presidents’ Organization
The Women Presidents’ Organization 2016 Annual Conference
Image: womenpresidentsorg.com

Co-leading the boutique recruiting firm HirePerfect, J. Melissa Cooper is a graduate of New York University. J. Melissa Cooper serves in a consulting role for the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), joining roundtables to advise women executives on search and hiring issues from an HR standpoint.

A nonprofit membership organization, WPO consists of women presidents of multimillion-dollar companies. The purpose of the organization is to advance women entrepreneurs and improve conditions and opportunities for female executives.

The number of women in executive leadership positions has grown in the last few years, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Between 2007 and 2012, women-owned businesses grew by more than a quarter to 27.5 percent, or 9.9 million businesses. Together, women-led businesses generated more than $1.5 trillion in receipts, as of 2012.

The majority of women-owned firms are sole proprietorships; only about 10 percent employ additional people. Still, women-owned firms with employees added 1.5 million jobs between 2007 and 2012.


Enterprising Women Magazine Honors Female Business Leaders

Enterprising Women Magazine pic
Enterprising Women Magazine
Image: enterprisingwomen.com

J. Melissa Cooper serves as the managing partner of HirePerfect, an executive search firm that she cofounded. Earlier, she bootstrapped an Internet startup called RezBiz, which she built into a company with 400 employees and several million dollars in annual revenue, before selling it to Talent Inc. The 2014 winner of the Enterprising Woman of the Year Award, J. Melissa Cooper now sits on the Enterprising Women Advisory Board.

Founded in 1997 as a voice and forum exclusively for women business owners, Enterprising Women magazine publishes stories of the challenges, concerns, solutions, and successes of entrepreneurial women and of their increasing influence politically, economically, and socially. In addition, the magazine encourages women to think big and follow their dreams, providing role models and mentors to guide them.

Every spring, Enterprising Women recognizes outstanding businesswomen at its annual Enterprising Women of the Year Awards celebration. Winners are selected for having fast-growing businesses, for mentoring or supporting other women entrepreneurs, and for serving their communities.