Women-owned businesses expected to boost economy - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Women-owned businesses expected to boost economy

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

A little bit of everything is everything Merle Fendig ever wanted.

"Finding the diamond in the rough thing is something I've always loved to do," she said.

So the 27-year-old made her passion her profession. Fendig co-owns Bones Rugs and Harmony, a new consignment shop in Columbia's Five Points.

She represents a growing number of women who own their own business.

"I feel like it's like having six kids at one time," said Fendig. "Even though we're only open from 11 to 6, it's a 24-hour job."

A job that used to be dominated by men, that isn't any more. A recent study found that by the year 2018, 1/3 of all jobs in this country will be created by women-owned businesses.

"I was brought up to believe women could do anything," said Debbie McDaniel, who spent years at the helm of Revente in Five Points.

She says as gender roles evolved, the idea of a working woman, even with children, became socially acceptable.

"In the '50s you aspired to get married and start a family," she said. "Now you can get married, start a family and be a businesswoman!"

There are still discrepancies. Women-owned businesses tend to generate less revenue and have fewer employees.

Fendig is one of many young businesswomen looking to change that. She and others will gather next weekend for SHE Columbia,  a big celebration of all things woman. From crafts and cravings  to business.

"My parents' generation, the opportunities afforded to women, versus today with my generation, have exponentially increased," said Fendig. 

SHE Columbia is February 8-10 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

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