Woman in Charge: The growing number of female entrepreneurs - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

Woman in Charge: The growing number of female entrepreneurs

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -

The number of businesses owned by women in the United States has more than doubled in the last 20 years, according to US Census data. 

They're growing at a rate more than 2.5 times the national average. 

While woman-owned businesses still face some challenges, some female entrepreneurs in Rochester say not much beats being the woman in charge.

There's no typical day at work for Teresa McCormack, owner of The Urban Studio, an architecture firm, in Rochester.

"It's always been an adventure," she said. 

Whether she's looking at products, doing building code analysis, or working with contractors in the field, it's been that way since she started her business 15 years ago.

"Both my parents were business owners so I always thought it was in the cards to try some day," McCormack said. 

Things are a little more predictable for Julie Herrera-Lemler, owner of You Betcha Cupcakes. 

"That's my fun thing," she said. "My specialty. I can do cakes, but I really really like to do cupcakes."

For six years now, she's been following her passion of baking cupcakes for weddings, parties, and events.

"I was doing a bake sale for charity and I had quite a few people tell me oh you should go into business," she said. 

More women are expected to join McCormack and Herrera-Lemler in the coming years as female entrepreneurs. 

About one in three Minnesota businesses is owned by a woman. 

They all generate about $25 billion in annual revenue according to the Minnesota Legislative Office on the Economic Status of Women. 

Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc. helps new businesses in Southeast Minnesota get off the ground.

The organization's Entrepreneurship Director, Xavier Frigola, says diversity in the workforce is important to Minnesota's economy.

"If you have half of your population that doesn't do entrepreneurship at the same rate as the other half, it's a lot of newcomers that could be creating jobs, that could be creating financing," he explained.

However, female entrepreneurs might face some challenges their male counterparts might never need to worry about.

"One of the challenges that I found was trying to approach this and everyone that I was finding that I was approaching was all men, and I thought I gotta find a lady in here somehow," said Herrera-Lemler. 

"Sometimes in the field many times you'll have somebody who wants to talk to the guy about serious technical things," said McCormack. "But for the most part we get a lot of respect from the general contractors we work with."

But for these Rochester businesses, those challenges are worth it.

"It brings a smile to everybody's face whether they're in the hospital at Saint Marys and I'm delivering these or people see them displayed at a wedding," said Herrera-Lemler. 

"If you do make a mistake or you have a win it's all yours," said McCormack. 

If you're interested in starting a business, both Herrera-Lemler and McCormack recommend finding a mentor who's been through the process before to guide you through it all.

Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc. also offers resources and advice to get businesses going.

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