According to State of Women-Owned Business report commissioned by American Express, women-owned businesses, with revenues over $1 million, increased 46% compared to 12% for all US business in the last decade. Women own about 40% for the overall business in the U.S, this account to about 12.3 million businesses. On a daily basis, women on the average are starting over 1900 businesses per day. Women are now in their ELEMENT when it comes to business, the overall number of women-owned businesses have surged 3,000% since 1972. The reason why women businesses have increased may be due to their ability to obtain business funding. Prior to 1999, women business owners needed a male co-signer to apply for bank loans, thus limiting access to capital for the would-be female entrepreneurs.
Times have no doubt changed for the better. However, women still have a long way to go. Women owned businesses are usually one-woman shows according to the same source. Furthermore, their ventures makes up about 8% of all employment and account for only 4.3% of total revenues. Even more troubling, is that women founders who apply for bank loans also receive about 45% less money than their male peers, according to a different study released by Biz2Credit.
Women owned businesses are still the minority and the hurdles faced by women who have embraced entrepreneurship are vast and often very different compared to those experiences encountered by their male counterparts. For this reason, Her Element was developed, to MENTOR, INSPIRE and EMPOWER WOMEN TO REALIZE THEIR FULL POTENTIAL, be they employed, self-employed or directors.
CHIEF ENCOURAGEMENT OFFICER
Cynthia Trejo is an Entrepreneur, Educator and Advocate who is dedicated to empowering women. With 20+ years of excelling in business, sales and marketing, Cynthia focused her efforts on assisting women to optimize their advancement in their career and in business. She helps transform women’s lives with leadership and professional development training programs, seminars and workshops inspiring women to become leaders in their communities.
She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management with a minor Human Resources from the University of Phoenix and is a graduate from the Franchise Management Certificate Program (FMCP) from the University of Texas at El Paso.
Cynthia is active in community organizations focusing on professional development and women. She currently serves as a Board Member with the El Paso Chapter of the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) as Director of the Women of ALPFA Program. She is a current member of El Paso Leadership Class 42 and serves as a Project Chair. She also serves on the El Paso Chamber Women in Business Conference Committee and is a member of the President’s Club of Toastmasters International. She served as President of the National Association of Business Owners (NAWBO) El Paso/Las Cruces Chapter, and as an Advisory Board Member with the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce.
DIRECTOR OF LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT
Melissa O’Brien, the Director of Learning and Development for Her Element Network, offers a history of educational leadership and technology, organizational administration, coaching, and mentorship.
Melissa successfully served over 30 years in the U.S. military with vast experience in leadership, organizational development, training, education, program management, human resource management, and team building. Her background includes work in both domestic and international environments, including combat operations. She has collaborated with all branches of service within the Department of Defense, as well as interagency and multinational partners.
Melissa is a master educator, trainer, and mentor with her most recent experience serving as both an educator and department chair in a regionally accredited university. She currently holds the position as the Chief of Distributed Learning Support, responsible for over 300k students globally.
Melissa is currently a Doctoral candidate with Liberty University, pursuing an EdD in Educational Leadership. She is also enrolled in a post-graduate certificate program from Western Kentucky University in Instructional Design. She is a distinguished graduate of the Pennsylvania State University with a Master of Education in Adult Education and Lifelong Learning and received a post-graduate certificate in Distance Education. She also holds a Master of Science in Management with a Concentration in Human Resource Management and a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts from Excelsior.
Melissa will retire from the U.S. Army in 2021. She plans to continue with her passion for people, building resilient teams, and education, along with community service focusing on women and veteran programs.