Stories produced by students in the Meek School of Journalism & New Media
Women own a little more than a quarter of all businesses in Mississippi and Melissa Crane, owner of Main Street Salon in Tishomingo, is one of them.
Crane has owned her hair salon for more than 12 years and currently employs four people.
“I myself probably work more hours than anybody here,” says Crane. But she goes on the say that, although the long hours and hard work are tough on her family, it is worth it in the long run.
“The longer you work the more money you make.”
This hair salon has been successful for her but says it’s not for someone who needs a consistent paycheck.
“With this particular field you never know what you are going to make,” said Crane. She says she was lucky to have help.
“When I started with my business my husband was very supportive, he helped me financially as well as with the business side.”
In the ten years from 1997 to 2007, women-owned firms in Mississippi increased from 23 to 26.9 percent. That’s according to the United States Census Bureau, Department of Commerce survey.
Today, women in Mississippi who are interested in starting their own businesses may find help at the MACE Women’s Business Center of Greenville.
“I don’t know exactly how many women in Mississippi own their own business, the Census Bureau can offer that information, but business training is available,” according to William Brown, the center’s director.
MACE has a special initiative called the Women’s Entrepreneurial Training and Technical Assistance Program. This program offers hands-on training and counseling services for women wanting to start a business in Mississippi. The program’s workshops and seminars are designed to help new business owners learn to build a base of ustomers, find suppliers for their particular needs and learn what other support is available.
Brown also recommends women check on what the Small Business Administration has to offer, and another resource is the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA).
According to the MDA website, the organization ” works with minority and women-owned businesses to facilitate networking with key industry partners from public and private sectors.”
Crane suggests women who want to start a business should take some classes and be ready to do one more thing.
“Learn how to do your own taxes.”