“The latest numbers show that they are starting more new businesses than men and growing them faster. What’s going on?
By Anne Fisher
Let’s say you’re reading this while relaxing poolside in Las Vegas (lucky you). There’s a good chance that whatever you’re lounging on was made by Debbi Somers’s company. As the name says, Somers Convention Furniture Rental rents chairs, tables, and sofas to hotels hosting huge trade shows. In the ’90s Debbi Somers built it into a multimillion-dollar enterprise, with a 57,000-square-foot warehouse five minutes from the Strip and a fleet of trucks that includes seven 48-foot semis. Then, after 9/11, the bottom fell out of the convention business. “So I spent two years trying to pursue ‘diversity’ contracts, but nothing happened?not even with one major hotel here that has a reputation for hiring more female contractors than anyone else,” says Somers, 50. “I’m government-certified as a woman-owned business, but after all the paperwork, I haven’t gotten one single bit of business from it.” ”
– Wow, good article. I was amazed by how little the SBA and government helped women out. I wonder if the same applies towards companies owned by men. The VC situation where women were underrepresented was also suprising (to the degree that it was true). It seems to me, by reading this article, that the government programs are to convoluted and are actually expensive, in terms of time and effort, for the return that they give you. What do you think? -ed.