Celebrating Women Business Owners


March is National Women’s History Month, a great time to celebrate women business owners!

Nationally, about 46% of small businesses are owned by women. (To count as a woman-owned business, at least 51% of the ownership of the business must be by a woman or by women.) Overall, women own between 9 and 10 million businesses in the US (depending on which source one looks at). This means that approximately 40% of US businesses are owned by women. Businesses owned by women generate around $1.5 trillion in sales and employ somewhere between 8 and 9 million people. Women business owners are not a force to be discounted!

At the state level, in Kansas, there are approximately 247,000 small businesses together employing around 600,000 people. Approximately 79,500 businesses in Kansas are owned by women and they employ about 75,000 people.

At America’s SDBC Kansas (a.k.a. Kansas SBDC), we are proud to count a number of these inspiring women as clients.  We applaud their successes and are honored to be a part of their stories.  Here are two recent award-winning clients and a piece of advice from each –

RFB Construction, owned by Deborah Beachner, won the Award Kansas Department of Commerce Women-Owned Business of the Year  2014.  In an interview with The Morning Sun, Deborah stated that it was a challenge to earn respect in the male-dominated field of construction, but that she likes a challenge. According to Deborah, it is important to remember to ask oneself how badly one wants something. Deborah has been sole owner of RFB since 2012.

Mid Star Lab, Inc., owned by Kari and Ron Wagner, received the Kansas Department of Commerce Women-Owned Business of the Year  Award in 2015 and a Kansas SBDC Existing Business of the Year Award in 2013. Kari advises business owners to learn everything that they can and to bring in knowledgeable advisors. Read more about Kari’s advice and about the Mid Star Lab, Inc. growth story.



Watch for more successful Kansas SBDC women-owned businesses through America’s SBDC Kansas and right here on our Washburn University SBDC blog.

Have a  Washburn KSBDC success story that you want to share? Let us know!

Resources & Information Sources


Laurie Pieper, Ph.D.

Business Advisor

America’s SBDC Kansas

Washburn University