Cape Girardeau women-owned business thrives while financial gap - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Cape Girardeau women-owned business thrives while financial gap still wide

Emilie Stephens, owner of Annie-Ems at Home in Cape Girardeau says she is not letting the numbers affect her success. (Source: Sherae Honeycutt/KFVS) Emilie Stephens, owner of Annie-Ems at Home in Cape Girardeau says she is not letting the numbers affect her success. (Source: Sherae Honeycutt/KFVS)
According to the U.S. Census there are about 10 million businesses owned by women. (Source: KFVS) According to the U.S. Census there are about 10 million businesses owned by women. (Source: KFVS)
Before she passed, her mother asked Emily to take over the store. (Source: Sherae Honeycutt/KFVS) Before she passed, her mother asked Emily to take over the store. (Source: Sherae Honeycutt/KFVS)
Stephens says it’s far from a hobby, and even though it’s more work, it’s equally fulfilling. (Source: Sherae Honeycutt/KFVS) Stephens says it’s far from a hobby, and even though it’s more work, it’s equally fulfilling. (Source: Sherae Honeycutt/KFVS)
American Express says since 1997 women owned companies are up almost 70-percent. (Source: Sherae Honeycutt/KFVS) American Express says since 1997 women owned companies are up almost 70-percent. (Source: Sherae Honeycutt/KFVS)
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

Businesses owned by women are on the rise, but according to a study by the Women's Chamber of Commerce, there's still a big gap to close.

According to the U.S. Census, there are about 10 million businesses owned by women.

That makes up nearly 36 percent of all companies.

However, their $1.5 trillion is only 4 percent of revenue generated in the U.S.

Emilie Stephens, owner of Annie-Ems at Home in Cape Girardeau, said she is not letting the numbers affect her success.

Stephens became a business owner and entrepreneur at one of the hardest times in her life.

"Following kind of in my mother’s footsteps; those are really big shoes to fill," Stephens said.

Her mother decided to change her life and open Annie-Ems at Home when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"Not only was she sick which is one very big challenge, I think in life, but she was running her own business and she was rocking it," Stephens said.

Before she passed, her mother asked Emily to take over the store.

"I think she maybe saw something in me that I could do this, but before I could even see it myself," Stephens said.

Stephens was graduating college at the time, and found a passion she didn't realize she had.

"That first year was really, really tough. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen," Stephens said. "I found out it was something I really loved, something I really enjoyed doing. And now I can’t even really imagine what my life would be like, or look like, without it."

Running her own business is a passion many women are finding.

According to American Express, since 1997 women owned companies are up almost 70 percent.

However, according to the Women’s Chamber of Commerce, they earn only about 4 percent of all revenue.

"Unfortunately, I think that’s a really low number, but I know that’s a growing number," Stephens said. "If you look around in our community a lot of women stepping up and owning their own businesses and I think that’s something we should really be proud of."

Stephens said it’s far from a hobby, and even though it’s more work, it’s equally fulfilling.

"I think the secret to life is finding something that you love, and that can support you financially, and I think I’ve found that," Stephens said.

Now Stephens said she is thriving, and has support from strong women in her life like her grandmother.

"Her mother loved the store so much that I’m very proud of Emmy taking it over, because I know her mama would be super super proud," said her grandmother, Marie Cooper.

"I hope she’s really proud. I think she would be. I know I do things a little bit differently maybe than she would have, but I think she would be – she would be happy," Stephens said.

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