Cal State Fullerton students interact in a classroom at the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics. March 8 is International Women’s Day, an annual commemoration to recognize the world’s diverse women for all their achievements in the professional, academic and personal spheres. Initially observed in the first decade of the 20th century as part of the Progressive Era labor and female suffrage movements, the day was recognized by the United Nations in 1975. Today, it is observed on the eighth day of March in a wide range of countries globally and is a public holiday in much of the former Soviet Union.

Women Are Making Strides in Entrepreneurship

Across the U.S. and globally, today’s women are part of a growing trend toward female-owned and operated entrepreneurships. The National Association of Women Business Owners reports that there are 11.6 million businesses owned by women in the United States alone, employing nearly 9 million people and generating $1.7 trillion in sales and revenue as of 2017. Of these enterprises, the majority – 5.4 million – are at least majority owned by women of historically underrepresented ethnic and racial groups.

Looking specifically at firms with revenues of $1 million or more, one in five is woman-owned, a percentage expected to increase steadily in coming years.

And of particular interest to millennial and Generation Z women is the trend for women business owners to launch their startups earlier in their careers than their male counterparts, with 51% of female business owners under the age of 50, according to a Guidant Financial survey. Nearly a fourth were in their late teens, 20s or 30s.

Globally, as many as 111 million women were leading established businesses in 2016, the latest year that statistics were available from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. While North America is the top region for female startup success, entrepreneurship rates are at parity with men or even exceed male representation in three growing economies – Indonesia, Malaysia and Brazil.

Supporting Women’s Success at Cal State Fullerton’s Mihaylo College

Cal State Fullerton’s Mihaylo College of Business and Economics is committed to ensuring that women – whether college students, alumni or other residents of the Southern California community – have the resources they need to succeed in business leadership, entrepreneurship or any other endeavor they aspire to.

The college’s Women’s Leadership Program, which gives exclusive access to personalized mentoring and leadership development to 25 high-achieving female students of sophomore standing or higher, seeks to support the success of women students at Cal State Fullerton through a leadership model focused on the four pillars of transformational leadership – character, competence, context and communication. For more information on how to get involved, whether as a student or an industry mentor, reach out to

New for 2019, the Titan Women Collective, brainchild of small business specialist and entrepreneur-in-residence Charlesetta Medina ’10 (entrepreneurship), is aimed at junior- and senior-level business undergrads at Mihaylo College, providing advising from Orange County business executives and development in soft skills, such as negotiation abilities and self-advocacy. Want to get involved? Reach out to Medina at or 657-278-8243.

Mihaylo College’s Center for Entrepreneurship, lead office of the Small Business Development Center and Center for Family Business provide startup or growth advising and assistance, professional support, networking connections, connections with startup funding, and business development to women entrepreneurs and professionals. Their outreach includes support for the college’s students, alumni and others without academic ties to Cal State Fullerton.

Want to make a difference in a social enterprise or philanthropic endeavor? The college’s Gianneschi Center for Nonprofit Research looks forward to supporting women seeking to launch their concepts to do well while doing good.