Woman-Run Businesses In Massachusetts Double State And National Growth Rates
Stow, MA – Oct. 23, 2006 – A major research study released today by Babson College and The Commonwealth Institute finds that 55 percent of woman-led businesses in Massachusetts grew by more than five percent in 2005, which more than doubles the state average, and nearly doubles the national growth rate. As part of the study, Stow-based E.T.& L. Corp. was selected as number 25 in the top 100 woman-led businesses in Massachusetts.
The Top Woman-Led Businesses in Massachusetts: 2005 Results study found that woman-run businesses are key drivers of Massachusetts's revenue and employment as well as strong sources of philanthropic activity. The companies in the survey that reported revenues generated $10 billion, and together, all the companies that participated in the study employed more than 21,000 people in Massachusetts. The study also identified the Top 100 Woman-led businesses in Mass. based on 2005 revenues. The top five companies are: Cumberland Farms Inc. in the number one spot; followed by Delta Dental of Mass.; Agar Supply Co., Inc.; Axcelis Technologies; and Garber Travel. The Top 100 list exhibits strong growth from 2004 to 2005, reflecting higher revenues at every decile.
The Top Woman-Led Businesses in Massachusetts: 2005 Results research study was co-developed by The Center for Women's Leadership at Babson College and The Commonwealth Institute. This study, which is being conducted for the fifth time and is a culmination of five years of data, identifies the top 100 woman-led businesses in the state and includes data from 191 woman-led firms. Following are key trends that the study uncovered:
- Fifty-five percent of woman-led businesses in Massachusetts have achieved an annual growth rate greater than five percent in 2005 – approximately double the state and national averages of two percent and 2.6 percent, respectively. Eighty percent of the companies surveyed grew at least one percent.
- In contrast to businesses that focus on short-term gains and cost-cutting measures, an overwhelming majority of woman-led businesses surveyed expect to drive profitability through top-line revenue growth. Eighty percent have identified expanding customer relationships as the key priority for driving future growth. This was followed by new products (28 percent), new geographic markets (19 percent) and strategic alliances (18 percent).
- Significantly, nearly 98 percent of woman-led businesses regularly contribute to local charitable and nonprofit organizations, and nearly one-third are engaged in philanthropic activity on a monthly basis. The greater percentage of women employees in a firm, the higher the level of philanthropic activity of the company.
- Women business leaders are building their companies for the long-term instead of looking for quick exit strategies. The women CEOs were in their current position an average of 15 years, and 72 percent of the companies were founded by their current CEOs. Additionally the women CEOs bring professional experience and education to their positions; they have an average of 28 years of work experience, and more CEOs of larger firms have graduate level education.
- Debunking the perception that women typically own lifestyle and retail-oriented businesses, woman-led businesses are as diverse as the Massachusetts economy. There is virtually no industry sector in which a woman-led firm cannot be found. Mirroring the state's business environment, the top five sectors for woman-led companies are: professional services; high technology; construction; healthcare, pharmaceuticals and medical products; and travel services.
- The costs the CEOs identified as having the most impact on their businesses are: health insurance benefits for employees; information technology and infrastructure; and advertising and marketing. The CEOs are also looking at innovative and cost-effective approaches to grow their businesses, such as guerilla marketing. The costs of living in Massachusetts also were considered as having a significant impact on their businesses.
- Although most CEOs are founders and controlling owners of their firms, more than 77 percent use a participatory leadership style, seeking opinions of others in their decision-making.
"E.T.& L. Corp. is delighted to be one of the top 100 Woman-Led Companies since the study was started five years ago," said President, Jennie Lee Colosi.
"The study uncovers valuable business lessons that we can all learn from," said Professor Nan S. Langowitz, Director of the Center for Women's Leadership at Babson College and chief researcher and author of the study. "The women CEOs are committed to building strong and thriving organizations for the long haul; their businesses are major engines of growth for the economy and key sources of philanthropy for the community. The CEOs' focus on top-line growth has made their companies tremendously successful despite the economic environment of the past few years."
"Women CEOs are outstanding role models for business success," said Aileen Gorman, executive director of The Commonwealth Institute. "Their participatory leadership style encourages new ideas and strategic approaches. These CEOs value strong relationships with customers and employees and have made a key commitment to giving back to the community – demonstrating that good business and doing good go hand in hand."
About the Study
This is the fifth study conducted by The Center for Women's Leadership at Babson College and The Commonwealth Institute on woman-led businesses in Massachusetts. Qualified participant companies have a woman chief executive who is the senior executive decision maker of the firm, are headquartered in Massachusetts, and are either independent businesses or legal subsidiaries of larger corporations. Medical, law and banking firms as well as non-profits were not included in the study. The full research report, including the Top 100 list, is available from Babson's Center for Women's Leadership and can be downloaded at www.babson.edu/cwl/top100.
About E.T.& L. Corp.
The Company was founded in 1945 as Eastern Tree & Landscape Corporation of Dedham, Massachusetts. At that time, the major emphasis of work performed was residential and commercial landscaping. In the 1950's, E.T.& L. began its land clearing division and soon became one of the largest commercial land clearing contractors in New England.
In the early 1960's, the Company became involved in complete site preparation, land development, and road construction. This work included excavation, embankments, storm water control, and paving, in addition to clearing and grubbing. Due to this diversification, the Company changed its name, in 1964, to E.T.& L. Construction Corp. In response to the continued growth, E.T.& L. Construction Corp. moved its headquarters and yard facilities to Route 117 in Stow, Massachusetts in 1971.
Through the 1970's and early 1980's, E.T.& L. became one of Massachusetts' most experienced highway, road, and bridge builders. Construction and reconstruction on sections of interstate highways, state highways, and rural roadways were completed throughout the Commonwealth. In the seventies and eighties, E.T.& L. also constructed many earthen and rockfill dams.In the mid-eighties, E.T.& L. recognized that the volume of State and Federal highway funds were beginning to lessen and turned its direction toward the private sector and the emerging work in the environmental field. Dozens of site preparation projects for private clients and major corporations were undertaken. Expansions and closures of municipal and private sanitary landfills, along with several wetland restoration and replication projects became a major part of the Company's growth.
During the 1990's, E.T.& L. continued to develop their expertise in the environmental field, road and bridge work, and site development. A portion of its focus turned to Super Fund Sites, athletic fields, and recreational facilities.
In 1998, E.T.& L. Construction Corp. created a new operating division, E.T.& L. Corp.
A history of proven performance, backed by E.T.& L.'s experienced team and versatile equipment, puts E.T.& L. Corp. at the top of most owners preferred list of heavy construction and infrastructure contractors.
About Babson College
The Center for Women's Leadership at Babson College is the first center dedicated to women in business and entrepreneurship at a leading school of management. Babson College in Wellesley, Mass. was founded in 1919, and is recognized internationally as the leader in entrepreneurial management education. For more information on Babson visit: www.babson.edu.
About The Commonwealth Institute
The Commonwealth Institute is a dynamic, non-profit organization founded in 1997 to help women entrepreneurs, CEOs and senior corporate executives build successful businesses. The goal of The Commonwealth Institute is to reach women leaders during the critical stages of their businesses and to provide them with the tools and resources they need for growth. Further information on The Commonwealth Institute can be found at: www.commonwealthinstitute.org.
Sponsors of a private reception honoring the 2005 Top 100 Woman-Led Businesses in Massachusetts include Deloitte & Touche USA LLP; Harvard Pilgrim Health Care; and Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.