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FIU Report: Women-led businesses find value in social responsibility

Even in this struggling economy, women business-owners in Florida continue to value social responsibility - by enacting environmentally friendly policies, adopting green technologies, or giving back to their communities - as an important driver for their business, according to The Women Entrepreneurial Leaders report conducted by Florida International University's Center for Leadership.

"Social responsibility has become an important factor in doing business, especially in this economy," said Mayra Beers, director of operations at the center and a Knight Research Fellow. "This report is evidence that women are taking the lead in showing that profit and social responsibility can go hand-in-hand. Women leaders are breaking ground in growing businesses that are successful and good partners in our community."

The survey found that 77 percent of women business owners found "social corporate responsibility" to be very or extremely important to the success of their business. Some of the most common initiatives women who responded mentioned include reducing, reusing, and recycling products; encouraging staff to become involved in community projects; increasing green technologies and reducing energy consumption; and contributing to community and charity projects and organizations.

In its sixth year, the survey is developed and managed by the Center for Leadership at FIU's College of Business Administration in collaboration with the Eugenio Pino and Family Global Entrepreneurship Center. The survey included responses from more than 234 women leaders.

The full results of the survey will be presented on Nov. 2, 2011 the Women to Watch: Florida's Entrepreneurial Leaders 2011 conference to honor the top 25 women leaders. The conference, which will begin at 10 a.m., will take place at FIU's MARC Pavilion on the Modesto Maidique Campus, 11200 SW 8 Street in West Miami-Dade County. To learn more about the conference, please click here.

Previous research has shown that men and women business-owners differ in their business values and goals. While both men and women are equally likely to desire business growth, women are less likely to measure success by the size of their firm.

Instead, women business-owners tend to pursue a balance between economic goals, like profit, and goals that are not strictly about economics, such as product quality, charitable work or community involvement.

The Women Entrepreneurial Leaders report confirms previous research, and suggests that even in the face of tough economic times, women leaders consider social responsibility a top priority.


To read the full report click here.