Did you know, based on the latest U.S. data, approximately 40% of all businesses in the United States are women-owned? In recent years, the number of successful women-owned businesses has drastically increased – and that number won’t decline anytime soon.

Our Women-Owned Businesses special feature story is a testament to the accomplishments of our community, and is how we celebrate female success. We love to highlight local women who take risks and act as role models in our community. They deserve recognition!

As a female entrepreneur myself, it’s incredible to see the diverse perspectives and unique ideas that surround me morph into female entrepreneurship that has an impactful voice. With the number of women-owned businesses growing in our community as well as everywhere else in the world, our voices will continue to be heard. We have so much to bring to the table and I am so proud of all the women on this business journey with me! We have come a long way, and still have a long way to go. Let’s keep pushing and keep succeeding!

It takes courage to start your own business venture without knowing how successful it will be. No matter what industry you are entering, what age you start your business at or what gender you are, I am proud of you for taking the leap into entrepreneurship. Nothing makes me happier than seeing our local businesses succeed, and I hope Strictly Business can be part of your journey to success!

One of my favorite quotes relating to entrepreneurship is by Martha Stewart. She once said, “Build your business success around something that you love – something that is inherently and endlessly interesting to you.” I love the reminder to keep pushing because it’s something that I want to do and something that I love to do. I think that all entrepreneurs should love what they do, and I think that the most successful ones are the ones that wake up excited to build their business. As Albert Schweitzer said, “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”

One final component to success that I want you to think about is the importance of your business team for the success of your business. As business owners, we lean on and rely on our team to be successful (and sane), which is why I like to surround myself with a trusted, loyal team that believes in my business just as much as I do.

This month, in addition to highlighting female entrepreneurs, we are shifting our focus towards the holiday season – particularly holiday party planning for businesses. Building a business is hard work, both for the entrepreneur and their employees. What better way to celebrate the hard work you’ve done than by throwing a holiday party? Holiday parties are great ways for employees to connect, let loose and have fun, while also supporting other local businesses throughout the party journey. It’s a great way to end the year on a high note!

– Paige Zutavern