With Northeast Florida’s growing reputation for innovation these days, there are certainly more opportunties for female entrepreneurs. Figures issued this month by the U.S. Small Business Administration bear out the trend, with Duval County receiving 165 small business loans worth nearly $74 billion so far this year — a significant increase over the same period in 2014. Loans to women-owned businesses across the North Florida region rose 40 percent over last year.
Statewide, women-owned businesses increased 39 percent in Florida between 2007 and 2012, according to a recently released report by the National Women’s Business Council. In 2012 — the last year for which the NWBC had up-to-date data — about 38 percent of businesses in Florida were women-owned, putting the Sunshine State third in the nation.
The development is not surprising to Rose Conry, CEO of StaffTime, a Jacksonville-based staffing firm that Conry began in 2009.