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Women CEOs: We Are on the Rise

Women CEOs: We Are on the Rise

When most people think of successful business owners, we tend to think of men. However, we are in the 21st century and women have really risen in the business world.

In an article by Score, it reported that in 2019 women-owned businesses increased by 21% over the last five years and represented 42% of all the American businesses which is approximately 13 million. These women entrepreneurs employed over 8 million people and generated $1.9 trillion. The article also explains that within the last five years, the number of side gigs or hustles run by women grew 39% in which most of that growth came from minority women whose “sidepreneuership” was two times higher at 65%.

Last year, Regenia Lee, a 32-year-old single mother grew her entire business over Zoom during the pandemic lockdown. Lee is the CEO of Gateway Executives, a marketing firm located in Cumming, Georgia. They partnered up with Targets and Sam’s Clubs around north Georgia and acts as the middle man for AT&T. With the new year, her company and team are growing exponentially.

Regenia Lee

Before starting her own business, Lee was a stay-at-home mom for four years and finally decided she wanted to do more with her life. She explains how she got started and how she ended up taking this path into the world of marketing.

“I saw a job ad and I went for it. Honestly, the interview is what decided it for me. I understood the opportunity and I understood I would have to work really hard in a short amount of time to get a lot of freedom.”

Lee works hard for the obvious reasons, financial safety, freedom of time, being able to provide for her children and not having to tell them no. But her reason for doing what she does is much bigger than that. She is always talking about our “why”, the bigger picture of why you’re doing what you’re doing, there is a purpose to it. Her “why” is powerful.

“I have big passion for helping with sex trafficking,” Lee said.I want to buy an island and I want to put a resort on it and I want a good percentage of the proceeds to go toward to stopping of sex trafficking.”

She wants to be able to help as many girls and women that are victims of sex trafficking as she can. She goes on to explain that the G and W in her company logo stands for girls and women and the name of her company Gateway comes from learning that the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta is the number one gateway for sex trafficking.

She further explains that her inspiration for buying an island comes from a show called “Island Hunters” and it shows how people can buy islands for fairly cheap and live off of it.

Lee shared what her goals are for her employees. “I want to help with their ‘why’ and just going after it. It’s not one particular thing but the overall purpose of why they are here and helping them grow as a person.”

She runs her business with a sense of family and closeness. She is dedicated to making her team better as individuals and not just as a salesperson.

Being a business owner is not always about the obvious reasons. Everyone wants to be financially stable and have freedom with their time. It is about your growth and seeing your hard work pay off for your overall bigger picture.

“I wake up everyday excited to see someone’s growth” Lee said.

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Women CEOs: We Are on the Rise