Bank of America releases the 2019 Women Business Owner Spotlight

Bank of America is excited to share the results of our 2019 Women Business Owner Spotlight, an annual survey of women entrepreneurs across the country exploring their goals, challenges and everyday realities.

This year, our research shows women business owners are poised to end 2019 on a high note, with four out of five anticipating year-over-year revenue growth. They are also optimistic that growth will carry into the new year, with revenue forecasts and expansion plans reaching four-year highs—and notably stronger among women entrepreneurs than their male counterparts. Women business owners’ hiring projections and economic outlook also remain strong, with confidence levels holding relatively steady year-over-year.

The report also took an in-depth look at women’s experiences regarding access to capital. Most women entrepreneurs say they do not have the same access to capital as their male counterparts, despite it being critical to small business growth. Furthermore, nearly one-quarter say they don’t believe women business owners will ever have equal access to capital.

When looking to societal issues that could positively impact women in business, women say achieving work-life balance and pay equality is a top factor to help over the next five years. Looking to the next generation, having more women in powerful positions of influence was identified as the single most important factor.

Rising to success

It all started on the streets of Budapest, where Nicole Shaw-Provillon got her first taste of a chimney cake—a traditional Hungarian street food consisting of a sweet pastry with a crispy, flavored outside and a soft, fluffy inside. That first bite spurred years of planning and inspiration for Kurly Kürtősh, a boutique dessert catering business that showcases the process of making chimney cakes at events and gatherings.

With almost 15 years of experience in corporate America, Nicole was determined to utilize her knowledge to bring this secret treasure to America. She sought to maintain the authenticity of this Hungarian specialty while adding her own twist for the U.S., putting together a business plan four years ago while living in Hungary. Two years later, Nicole moved back to the U.S. and started Kurly Kürtősh, setting out to bring happiness and excitement to her customers through a fun, interactive and delicious experience that she has coined as “Dessertainment.”

Settling for nothing but the best for her clientele, Nicole sources her ingredients from an international gourmet importer and a top spice purveyor in New York City —importing flour from Europe and cinnamon from Sri Lanka. Finding interested suppliers for such a small business has not been easy, but partnering with supportive importers, such as Teitel Brothers, has helped Nicole transform a traditional street food into a premium, delectable treat.

After years of honing her craftsmanship, she bakes for the Hungarian Embassy in Washington, DC. To expose the American community to this unique experience, she pops up at farmers markets, festivals and businesses, such as the Nutella Cafe, Williams-Sonoma and Bloomingdale’s.

“The Kurly Kürtősh tagline is ‘Unkurl Your Sweet Spot’ and it builds on three elements,” Nicole said. “The experience of discovery, enjoying an amazing pastry, and spending time with friends and family is the ultimate sweet spot. The real mission of my business is to spread happiness because when I see how people respond, it’s really magical and gives me purpose.”

Looking to the future, Nicole sees opportunities for expansion—moving into a shared location to host pop-up events and offering party “gift packs” that allow customers to personally spread happiness. Nicole also looks for ways to be an inspiration for other women in business, hoping to help the next generation of women entrepreneurs succeed by sharing her story, experiences and lessons learned.

It is inspiring to see the success of women entrepreneurs like Nicole. Whether you’ve been in business for decades or just opened your doors this year, Bank of America is committed to providing the tools and resources to help you grow your business responsibly.

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