Richmond Pulse: Richmond Women Mean Business


After dreaming at a young age of opening a local business, longtime resident Liz Gonzalez finally opened Ritzy Reuben, a hair and beauty studio in Point Richmond.

“It’s very rewarding to open a business in the city I grew up in. I am [trying] to bring something positive to the city. Hopefully as I as expand, I can bring prosperity and betterment to the city,” Gonzalez said.

Ritzy Reuben offers hair and beauty services, specializing in haircuts, extensions, and hair coloring. For Gonzalez, it is important for people to feel good about themselves.

“Our services are something that brings more than just a hair style or color or tint; we’re touching people personally, helping them feel better. People always want to feel the better part of themselves,” she said.

‘Women entrepreneurs outnumber men’

Women like Gonzalez continue to outnumber men when it comes to starting new businesses across the nation, with women of color leading the way.

According to research by the National Women’s Business Council based on U.S. Census data from 2007 through 2012, women owned nearly 9.9 million business as of 2012, up 2.1 million or almost 28 percent, since 2007.

Since 2007, the number of Hispanic women-owned businesses increased 87 percent, making Hispanic women the fastest growing segment of women-owned businesses in the United States. The number of African American women-owned businesses in the United States increased 67.5 percent, while Asian American women-owned businesses increased by 44.34 percent.

Bret Sweet is the program manager of the Renaissance Entrepreneur Center in Richmond, a small non-profit that provides support services and training for business owners. Sweet says his office is seeing many women in Richmond, as well as women throughout Contra Costa County, who are interested in starting a business from scratch or have already started but may have become overwhelmed.

Read the rest of the story on the Richmond Pulse.


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