Study: Kentucky’s women-owned firms on the rise


Michelle Lowe, owner of Ideally Done Event Planning photo by: Emily Moseley.

Lexington, KY – Unable to continue working “a million hours a week” at her demanding full-time job but not able to quit working completely after the birth of her first child in 2009, Michelle Lowe decided to make her own solution when she founded Ideally Done Event Planning.

Now a mother of two, Lowe was the Lexington chapter administrator for the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and is now the chapter’s public relations and technology chair. Lowe’s business allows her the flexibility needed to be a mother active in the lives of her children.

“You can’t do that working for a larger company, and they expect you to be there all the time,” she said.

Lowe is one of an estimated 97,800 women business owners in the state of Kentucky who contribute roughly $13 billion to the economy, according to a study commissioned by American Express OPEN. Nationally the number of women-owned businesses has increased by 54 percent since 1997, and Kentucky is ranked 24th in growth of number of firms over the last 15 years.

The State of Women-Owned Business Report spokeswoman Alice Bredin, president of Bredin, said the report (commissioned by American Express OPEN) is based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, specifically their quinquennial business census, the Survey of Business Owners (SBO), which is conducted every five years in years, ending in two or seven.

Lowe speculated that many women are like her: needing flexibility but also uniquely equipped to own businesses.

“I think women care about their employees,” she said. “I have noticed a couple of people who have come on to NAWBO and say they love working for women better than men. In general, women business owners are going to take that mothering approach to their employees and make sure they’re happy in their positions.”

But they also have unique struggles.

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