Iowa ranks last in the country in several metrics related to women-owned businesses, and Cedar Rapids businesswoman Lydia Brown wants to change that.
Brown, owner of human resources and consulting firm Skywalk Group LLC, announced to a group of more than 400 Iowa businesswomen on Thursday that she is forming an organization to help female entrepreneurs grow their businesses. Brown spoke to the Iowa Women's Leadership Conference at the Hy-Vee Conference Center in West Des Moines.
The group, called Ascent, will spend the next nine months to a year building a network of technical and educational resources, both public and private, to help businesses.
Brown said when she heard last spring the statistics about Iowa female-owned businesses, she thought, "Oh, that can't be right." However, she learned the numbers were correct. Brown said Iowa ranks last among the states in the percentage of female-owned businesses and in revenues of those businesses. It's No. 51 - behind Alaska and the District of Columbia - in job growth of female-owned businesses.
The program will be free to business owners for the first three years, Brown said.
For more information, contact Brown at email@example.com.