In his more than 30 years as a professor of food science, Richard W. Hartel has never seen a more idealistic group of undergraduates than the current crop at the University of Wisconsin. Few bachelor’s degrees can offer the job opportunities of food science. But will high-minded ideals hold back the next wave of newcomers?
Female entrepreneurship has always lagged behind men’s – for decades, women couldn’t even open a bank account without a husband or male relative co-signing – but women are making up for lost time. Between 1997 and 2013 the number of women-owned businesses leapt by 59 percent. Today, according to American Express Open’s annual report on female entrepreneurs, there are 8.6 million women-owned businesses in the US. Almost a third of firms are owned by women. And female entrepreneurship is undergoing a demographic shift: back in 1997, 17 percent of firms were owned by women of color. Today, that number is 31 percent.