Honoring Women’s Small Business Month In South Dakota
Monday, November 01, 2021
The month of October, that just went by, is celebrated as Women in Small Business Month - honoring women-owned businesses (11.6 million and counting) around the country. According to a 2020 report by the National Women’s Business Council, 42% of all US businesses are represented by women owners. With 9.4 million employees and $1.9 trillion in revenue, we observe that women-owned businesses are concentrated in industries such as child daycare, private households, beauty salons, fitness, and home healthcare services.
Celebrating Women Business Owners In South Dakota
For most women owners being successful in business means not subscribing to set expectations, but instead, defining their own. Women business owners in the state of South Dakota have been actively using their strengths and skills to carve out their very own career paths. Organizations like GROW South Dakota have been very supportive of women’s endeavors. The going has been tough, and the road, challenging, but for two successful women entrepreneurs - Jennifer Deutsch and Laurie Haggerty, it could not have been any other way.
Jennifer Deutsch: Taking Gymnastics To The Next Level
Even as a child Jennifer had a fervent love for gymnastics. As a high school gymnast for the city of Britton, South Dakota, between 1991 and 1996 Jennifer helped the team to win many runner-up State Championships. After a successful career in the field, she moved on to start her own gymnastics center, the Next Generation Performance Center in 2015, a center where children can express themselves physically and mentally through gymnastics, cheer and dance.
“Organizations Like Grow SD Are Critical For The Business Community”
For Jennifer, facing challenges was not due to being a woman, but there were mostly bottlenecks that any business owner would have to overcome. “Staff and member retention, marketing to larger communities, Covid-related issues, etc. are a few I've faced. Effective communication, working with trained professionals in marketing or finance, and visiting health care workers and other gym owners in regards to Covid has helped me get through some of these challenges”, she says.
Ever since her performance center started, Jennifer says GROW South Dakota has helped her with her aspirations. “ Probably the most stressful and unknown aspect of the journey is the start-up money! Jared Groos of Grow SD was so easy to work with and helped to answer all my questions while reassuring me of my loan repayment capacity. Also, during the Covid shutdown Grow SD was extremely helpful in making me aware of any financial help during that difficult, no-income time”, Jennifer affirms.
“At Next Generation, we create a positive atmosphere for our students to excel and progress as an athlete and an individual. Our facility exists to further the health and happiness for the NEXT GENERATION!”, says Jennifer, as she signs off.
Ensuring The Legitimacy Of Titles: Roberts County Title Company, Inc.
Another women business owner, Laurie L Haggerty runs Roberts County Title Company in Sisseton, South Dakota. She too feels that she has not faced any challenge out of the ordinary, simply because she is a woman. When asked about the role of a title company, Laurie says, “We make sure that the title to a piece of real estate is legitimate and then issue title insurance for that property. Title insurance protects the lender and/or owner against lawsuits or claims against the property that could result from disputes over the title”.
Laurie believes that the community of Sisseton in South Dakota has firmly helped her establish her business. “ Business owners, bank employees, attorneys and their employees, Roberts County Courthouse and state office employees, realtors and their staff, and other countless people have helped me make the transition to business ownership”, she says. As for GROW South Dakota, she is effervescent in her praise- “Jared Groos at GROW was so amazing at helping me through the process to finance. Grow sends out emails with information and different opportunities to help with the business operation and growth. They make you think about options that are out there for small businesses, such as helping with financing options for the new building we just moved into.
The Reassurance Of Support Can Help Your Business Grow
With support from organizations like GROW SD, small business owners can think of growing their enterprise. “We have now started doing loan closings, in addition to title searches, title reports, and title insurance, to make the purchase and/or refinancing process more streamlined and easier for lenders, attorneys, buyers, and sellers, or anyone involved in the process of real estate transactions. We recently moved into a newer, larger space to help us engage better with our customers”, Laurie specifies.
Dream And You Can Make It Happen
A recent report states that women are steadily making their presence felt in the world of small-business ownership. Although there are still challenges inherent to being a female business owner and all of it is not smooth sailing yet, the journey is made better with the support and guidance that you can receive from organizations like GROW SD and the local community. Jennifer Deutsch reinforces the importance of this kind of support, when she says, “Any small business owner can relate to so many challenges & rewards that we all face. The one thing I'd like to say in regards to Women in Business would be - if any woman has a passion & dream to own their own business... It can be done and the rewards are amazing! There are so many supportive people in Aberdeen that can help with all the scary questions and hurdles that you will face. Passion, organization and simply loving what you do every day will showcase your business to the community and help it grow!”
Through services to individuals, technical assistance to community and economic development agencies, and loans to small businesses and homebuyers, GROW South Dakota has had a broad and lasting impact. If you are a woman business owner and need help with your business in terms of financing and technical assistance, get in touch with us at www.growsd.org.