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Women Leading The Way In Post-Recession Job Creation

ADDISON (CBSDFW.COM) – During the Recession, Judy Hoberman left her corporate job training sales people to start her own consulting firm. Hoberman says her friends thought she was "totally nuts."

"In this economy to leave a good job with benefits and a good paycheck, everything you wanted and to go to nothing, it was a little scary," she said.

She even wrote a new book "Selling In A Skirt," which was published three weeks ago. She said it's since sold out and they've had to reprint more.

It coaches women and men how to recruit and train saleswomen, a benefit Hoberman says she didn't have.

"For 30 years of sales I've been in, there's never been a female mentor for me. There's never been anyone to show me the ropes, other than male mentors who were very successful," Hoberman said. "So I thought if I could go back and train women and give them a blueprint or road map on how to do sales using feminine skills, it'd be something worthwhile."

She hosted a group of women entrepreneurs from across North Texas at her house Wednesday.

Statistics show that, unlike past economic downturns, more people started their own businesses during the most recent recession.

Women led the way.

According to the Census, the number of women-owned businesses in Texas shot up more than 30 percent from 468,705 in 2002 to 610,279 in 2007. Nationwide, women own 7.8 million businesses, a 20 percent increase during that same time period.

And a new report by American Express Open found between 1997 and 2011, the number of women-owned businesses increased by 50 percent nationwide, outpacing the overall increase in of all new businesses.

And in 2008, women, who made up more than 51 percent of the U.S. population, accounted for about 47 percent of the American labor force as a whole, according to the National Women's Business Council Center for Women's Business Research.

The council center's study adds that women generated more than $1.9 trillion in sales in 2008.

Sandra Yancey, founder and CEO of the eWomenNetwork in Addison, said she saw many women start their own businesses during the recent downturn. And studies show they're doing better than their male counterparts: Between 1997 and 2011, firms owned by men jumped just 25 percent during the same period that women-owned firms saw a 50 percent increase.

"I think women see it as a wonderful opportunity to start a business," Yancey said. "Everything is on sale. Space is on sale, talent is on sale."

Yancey said she started her firm 11 years ago, when many Internet businesses went belly-up. She says her firm has now become one of the largest women networking organizations in the world.

"Never before have people needed to network more than they do now," Yancey said. "What was kind of their nest egg has gone away or budgets have been cut and people aren't spending as much anymore."

Yancey said she's succeeded while helping other women entrepreneurs succeed.

She's now preparing to expand from 118 markets in the U.S. to Australia and New Zealand later this year.


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