The Future of Business is Female - and Mobile

Jen Earle and Mercedes Garcia

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

As we celebrate National Women’s Small Business Month, we should be inspired by how far women entrepreneurs have come and be motivated to keep pressing ahead toward future success. Women entrepreneurs are a vital component to the economic landscape of our country. According to the SBA, more than 36% of small businesses in the United States are women-owned. Through advances made by women-owned and women-led companies the U.S. has seen major industry growth across a variety of sectors including health care, social services, and education.

We are in the trenches every day with female entrepreneurs and know that challenges remain for women who are launching, nurturing or expanding their businesses. Obtaining credit and financial backing is often the first financial challenge that women entrepreneurs face but certainly not the last.

The National Association of Women Business Owners and Master Your Card have partnered to bring resources and guidance to female entrepreneurs across the country. As the fastest growing segment of our economy across all industries, women-owned businesses are a source for growth and opportunity for the women who run them and the people they employ.

For example, while nearly every small business owner uses credit or debit cards, some are still less inclined to accept them for payment. Some cite the cost of the processing fee without realizing that cash and paper checks have a cost associated with them too. Cash is easily lost or stolen — and is never replaced once it’s gone. Paper checks take time to process and bank fees for minimum balances and bounced checks can make profits disappear. In sharp contrast, transactions using electronic payment technology are secure and instantaneous.

We talk to women business owners around the country about leveraging the electronic payments network to expand their businesses and many are very interested in moving on to the world of mobile payments. While some — like PayPal — have been around for years, other types of mobile payments are new and growing by leaps and bounds. In fact, the anticipated U.S. mobile payment market is expected to be $142 billion by 2019 - less than two years away.

Many experts believe that we will be nearly “cashless” in the future and will pay for everything with our smartphones — without pulling out cash or cards. Women business owners are inspired by these latest technologies and payment innovations. As women entrepreneurs continue to make a huge impact on local and national economies, partnerships like ours will forge ahead on their behalf across all professional industries as we continue to be a valuable resource in helping to propel women business owners into greater economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide.

Jen Earle is the CEO of the National Association of Women Business Owners. Mercedes Garcia is Vice President for Community Relations at Mastercard and oversees the Master Your Card program.