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Women Entrepreneurs Continue as a Driving Force



Women Entrepreneurs Continue as a Driving Force

Bansree Parikh,
Bank of America Market Executive, Commercial Banking for the Inland Empire

By Bansree Parikh, Bank of America Market Executive, Commercial Banking for the Inland Empire

As national Women’s Small Business Month comes to a close, now is a perfect time to commemorate and reflect upon the October 1988 passage of the Women’s Business Ownership Act. Prior to the passing of this legislation, women were required to have a male relative as their co-signer on business loans.

A lot has changed in 31 years in the Inland Empire and the rest of the United States.

In 2018, there was an estimated 12.3 million women-owned businesses, accounting for 40 percent of all businesses and generating $1.8 trillion in revenue, according to the National Women’s Business Council 2018 report. In the Inland Empire, the percentage of women-owned businesses is slightly above 40 percent, according to the most recent Census data. An analysis by the UCR Center for Economic Forecasting showed the rate of growth of women-owned businesses in the Inland Empire after the recession outpaced the rest of California. Indeed, female entrepreneurs have truly become a driving force in the nation’s economy, starting new businesses at a higher rate than ever.

Women small business owners are poised to end 2019 on a high note, with 84 percent anticipating year-over-year revenue growth, according to Bank of America’s 2019 Women Business Owner Spotlight. In the Inland Empire, this optimism is buoyed by a 2.3 percent growth in jobs – the highest in Southern California – over the past year.

To better understand this thriving community of business owners, Bank of America surveys women business owners annually across the country to gain insights into their goals, aspirations and concerns.

Notably, this year’s survey found that women entrepreneurs are more confident in their revenue, hiring and expansion plans compared to their male counterparts.

For example:

  • 73% plan to expand their business over the next 12 months (vs. 66% of male business owners, and up from 67% in 2018)
  • 62% expect their revenue to increase in the year ahead (vs. 55% of male business owners, and up from 58% in 2018)
  • 25% are planning to hire (vs. 23% of male business owners, and up from 21% in 2018)
  • 52% of women entrepreneurs are confident their local economy will improve (up from 49% in 2018)

Mixed with this optimism and momentum were reflections on the challenges of establishing and financing a small business – including the extent to which gender bias may play a role. For example, more than half of women entrepreneurs say they don’t feel that they have the same access to capital as their male counterparts.

When reflecting upon positive influences on their success, more than half of women business owners identified external factors like experiencing adversity, obtaining a college degree and having a mentor have helped them achieve success. This is an especially important factor for women small business owners in the Inland Empire region, which rates as one of the lowest metros in California in educational attainment for women.

When asked for the single character trait that has had the greatest impact on their business success, women entrepreneurs identified integrity (23 percent) as the top personality attribute, closely followed by perseverance (22 percent).

Looking to the future, business owners agree that having more women in positions of influence would be the most impactful in paving the way for the next generation of women in business.

And we couldn’t agree more.

As the nation’s leading small business lender, with approximately 40 percent of the 12 million small business owners we serve being women, Bank of America recognizes just how vital the role of women is in driving economic growth.

Education, training and networks play key roles in entrepreneurial success, which is why we have formed partnerships to connect women entrepreneurs to these resources. Through the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program, we have committed more than $50 million to help female entrepreneurs grow their businesses. For the sixth consecutive year, we also partnered with the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), serving as the presenting sponsor of the annual Women’s Business Conference.

We are proud to do our part by providing the capital, opportunities and tools women entrepreneurs tell us they need to help launch and grow their businesses, so that they have the power to advance their businesses and make significant contributions to our economy.

For more research findings on the 2019 Women Business Owner Spotlight, please click here.


The Inland Empire Business Journal (IEBJ) is the official business news publication of Southern California’s Inland Empire region - covering San Bernardino & Riverside Counties.


Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce to Lead California Delegation at GITEX GLOBAL 2023 in Dubai



Fostering Technological Synergy: Bridging the Tech Gap with Global Partners

Demonstrating the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce’s (IERCC) commitment to global tech collaboration and innovation, the organization will lead a California delegation to the world-renowned GITEX GLOBAL event in Dubai from October 16-20, 2023. Though the original invitation extended to IERCC’s President & CEO, Mr. Edward Ornelas, Jr., he will not be in attendance. Instead, the California delegation will be spearheaded by the Chamber’s newly-appointed CTO, Mr. Gabriel Rangel.

Organized by the Dubai World Trade Centre, GITEX GLOBAL 2023 promises to be grander than ever. The event is set to host over 6,000 exhibiting companies and startups, drawing more than 170,000 tech and business executives from over 170 countries. The mega-event will sprawl across 41 vast halls and, for the first time ever, will be held at two prominent venues – the iconic Dubai World Trade Centre and the new Dubai Harbour for Expand North Star, making it the host for the world’s largest startup event.

Mr. Edward Ornelas, Jr. commented, “While I regret not attending GITEX personally, I am proud to have Mr. Rangel at the helm of this effort. I’m confident that our delegation will foster new collaborations and present the Golden State as a tech powerhouse.”

This year’s conference adopts the compelling theme of “The Year to Imagine AI in Everything”. Attendees are poised to witness the grandest showcase of AI tech giants and industry frontrunners. Additionally, it promises to kindle profound dialogues and debates concerning the socio-economic implications of burgeoning AI technology.

“Leading the California delegation at GITEX offers us an unmatched platform to nurture and solidify relationships with global tech partners,” said Mr. Gabriel Rangel, CTO of IERCC. “As the technology landscape continues to evolve, it’s critical for us to be a part of these international collaborations. I’m honored to spearhead this mission on behalf of the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce.”

An integral part of the California delegation, Mr. Ram Thanapandian, Principal Technology Consultant to the State of California and Chair of CA State Treasurer Fiona Ma’s Technical Advisory Commission, will be present, providing invaluable insights and representing the State of California Treasurer’s Office.

IERCC’s leadership in organizing this delegation underscores the crucial role that California plays in the global tech ecosystem and mirrors Dubai’s ambitious vision as encapsulated in the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33). This strategy aims to substantially expand Dubai’s economic landscape in the upcoming decade, securing its stature among the world’s leading global cities.

Trixie LohMirmand, Executive Vice President of the Dubai World Trade Centre and CEO of KAOUN International, remarked on the invaluable contributions the California delegation will bring to the event. She looks forward to an event marked by knowledge-sharing, collaboration, and pioneering discussions.

For additional information on GITEX GLOBAL 2023, please refer to: GITEX 2023 Preview.

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Economist Christopher Thornberg, State Treasurer Fiona Ma Headline New Forecast Conference



Coming October 5th

Economic Horizon 2024: What Lies Ahead?

The Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with Beacon Economics and the County of San Bernardino, is thrilled to announce that the anticipated economic forecast conference, Economic Horizon 2024: What Lies Ahead, Inland Empire? will be held October 5th from 3:30 PM to 6:30 PM at the El Prado Golf Courses in the vibrant city of Chino, California.

Esteemed economist, Dr. Christopher Thornberg will present complete outlooks for the U.S., California, and Inland Empire economies. “The Inland Empire stands at the crossroads of remarkable economic opportunities and challenges,” said Thornberg. “I’m excited to unpack the trends and shifts that will define the region’s economic landscape in the next year, and beyond.”

Known for his razor-sharp observations, and fun, energized delivery, Thornberg’s presentation will include pointed discussions about inflation, the Fed’s next move, housing markets, strengths and instabilities in the economy, and what current trends mean for the nation, state, and local region.

The conference will also be graced by the insights of California State Treasurer Fiona Ma as keynote speaker. In her words, “The strength of California’s economy is deeply interwoven with the growth trajectories of its regions. The Inland Empire, with its dynamism and resilience, is a testament to this synergy. I am honored to join ‘Economic Horizon 2024’ and share a vision where policies, partnerships, and potentials converge to elevate the Inland Empire to unprecedented economic heights.”

“This conference is a testament to the collaborative spirit of the Inland Empire and our commitment to fostering a robust, resilient economy,” said Edward Ornelas, Jr., President of the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Our partnership with Beacon Economics and the County of San Bernardino aims to offer a platform for profound economic discussion, forecasting, and strategic future planning.”

Attendees can anticipate not only expert insights into the economy but also networking opportunities and a chance to connect with key business, government, and nonprofit leaders from across the region.

Full event details are available at:

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Bizz Buzz

Webb Investments acquires Silver Creek Industries, an industry leader in modular construction for schools



Webb Investments today announced the launch of a new company, Silver Creek Modular, after acquiring the assets of Silver Creek Industries, a highly respected modular construction company known for bringing innovative, sustainable and cost-effective solutions to the education industry. 

Silver Creek Industries’ existing business, including its employees and its Perris, Calif., manufacturing facility, will remain with the new company, with Webb providing the investment capital, resources and expertise to enhance Silver Creek’s presence in the modular construction marketplace.

The acquisition closed in June of 2023, following Silver Creek Industries’ Chapter 11 filing in the Central Bankruptcy Court of California.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring Silver Creek into our family business, and look forward to building on our shared commitment to improving educational opportunities within communities across our region,” said Kiana Webb, CEO of Webb Family Enterprises. “This acquisition aligns with our strategy to invest in established firms that can help us drive community revitalization and inclusive growth, while improving quality of life and increasing economic output.”

Silver Creek Industries was founded in 2004 and has completed more than 1,000 projects in the education, commercial, medical, military, government and multi-family housing markets. More recently, the company’s focus has been on providing high-quality, sustainable modular buildings for schools and educational institutions. Silver Creek Industries is well known for delivering projects on time and on budget, with minimal disruption to school and the community. 

Webb Investments is a privately held, family-owned company focusing on creating a community development ecosystem that drives inclusive, organic growth and transforms the areas they serve. 

For more information on Webb Investments, please visit

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