When the founders of Monkey Mat, Christie Barany and Courtney Turich, met they never dreamed their innovative solution for new moms would turn into a necessary product and nationally recognized brand. After winning Shark Tank in 2014, they have gone on to successfully scale their business by providing an innovative product that didn’t already exist – portable, sanitary mats for toddlers.
The Monkey Mat duo are part of a growing trend of women entrepreneurs in the United States who are innovating, launching and scaling new business ideas. The rate of growth for women-owned and led enterprises is at an all-time high. According to a recent study, there are currently 9.1 million women-owned businesses, which employ approximately 7.9 million people and generate $1.4 trillion in annual revenues. Since 1997, the number of women-owned firms in the U.S. has increased by 67 percent. One of the fastest rates of growth for women-owned and led firms is in Texas where, as of 2007, women-owned enterprises sold $284 million in goods and services.
The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) will be hosting their next Public Meeting on June 23 from 9:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. The meeting will include a panel of experts discussing the newest trends for women in business and sharing their expertise and success stories on how women can launch, grow and scale their businesses. This panel will feature Barany and Turich, the female pair who founded Monkey Mat and also winners of ABC’s Shark Tank, Whitney Johns Martin, co-founder of Texas Women Ventures, a fund managed by women and for women and a former Council Member and Gary Lindner, the President of PeopleFund, a community advantage lender and Community Development Financial Institution based in Austin-area with a strong reputation for lending to women-owned and women-led ventures.
The meeting will also include remarks from Council Chair Carla Harris, followed by Council Members sharing their most recent findings and updates on activities.
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“It is a great time to be a woman with entrepreneurial ambitions thanks to historically low interest rates, a diversity of sources of capital, policies to stimulate small business growth and a growing entrepreneurship ecosystem to support women,” Harris, Presidentially-appointed Chair of the NWBC, said. “Thanks to a combination of supportive initiatives, committed local government and a strong entrepreneurial spirit – there are more and more women-owned and women-led businesses that call Austin home.”
The NWBC Quarterly Public Meeting is preceding the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) Annual Conference and Business Fair. WBENC is the largest third-party certifier of businesses owned, controlled, and operated by women in the United States. They also pursue initiatives to connect women business enterprises with business opportunities so they can grow and scale their businesses. Women’s business enterprises and representatives will converge in Austin for three days of programming, including: lectures and presentations from thought leaders, panel discussions, 1:1 MatchMaker sessions, networking receptions, and a business fair featuring over 300 exhibitors.
“We are so excited to be hosting our next public meeting in Austin, Texas on the precipice of WBENC’s Annual Conference and Business Fair – a great showcase of women’s success in business,” said Amanda Brown, Executive Director of the NWBC. “WBENC, one of the organizations on the Council, is deeply committed to connecting women business owners and leaders to new markets and opportunities, so more can grow and scale and continue to strengthen our nation’s economy. We commend the work that they do, and are excited to be in Austin with them.”
The quarterly meeting is a standard operating procedure of the Council and an opportunity to share with the public the latest facts and information on women-owned businesses. The meeting will also include a series of updates on activities and research from the Council, along with readouts from our meetings with local business owners and leaders.
To find out Monkey Mat’s status after Shark Tank, click here.
Photo Courtesy of www.sharktankpodcast.net