Female entrepreneurs are among America’s fastest-growing entrepreneurs

Serra Martinez


Shoppers Haven

Honolulu, Hawaii

Why she’s on FT.com:

Who says women can’t be business owners? Far from it. Contrary to what the old societal rules might suggest, owning a business doesn’t necessarily mean making your living entirely from a desk and paying the bills. In fact, for American women, business ownership is, in general, on the rise. America ranks 18th out of 30 OECD countries for the amount of women who own their own businesses, compared with 19th out of 30 OECD countries for women who work in paid work, according to the data from the US Census Bureau. There’s also been strong growth in business ownership in women and minorities over the past two decades. As for what women make, the median wage for owners of businesses with 20 or more employees is $54,748, which is comparable to that of a U.S. worker. That’s a pretty low wage, in comparison to a U.S. employee, with wages between $53,000 and $85,000, according to a 2012 Bureau of Labor Statistics report. Serra, 44, started her company, Shoppers Haven, in 2001 after working as a sales rep for a mattress company. She launched Shoppers Haven, a local firm that sells items and subscriptions to a growing number of shoppers on its website, in order to expand her business. It started in Honolulu, but now operates in 30 countries.

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