Atlanta is a Hub for Women Entrepreneurs

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Friday, March 22nd, 2019

Women make up more than 50 percent of the entrepreneurs in EO Atlanta’s Accelerator, a program for emerging businesses with between $250,000 and $999,999 in annual revenues.

More than 11.6 million firms in the United States are owned by women. Those companies generate $1.7 trillion in sales and employee nearly nine million people. One in five firms with revenue of more than $1 million or more is women-owned, according to the National Association of Women Business Owners.

CEO and Co-Founder of Imagine Media Consulting Shantel Khleif attributes her firm’s growth to Accelerator. Imagine Media has doubled in size every year. She credits the momentum for women-owned companies in the program to Atlanta and the women entrepreneurs in EO Atlanta.

"The reason so many women-owned businesses are entering the Accelerator program is because of an amazing Atlanta startup community and some wonderful EO female-led business that paved the way, who stand as amazing mentors within the chapter,” Khleif said. “We also have a strong board that supports and encourages the next wave of younger entrepreneurs and diversity within the organization.”

Maria Moore Riggs, the owner of Revolution Donuts and Coffee, joined EO Atlanta through Accelerator and is now a full member. The family-owned and operated bakery opened in 2012 and has two locations. Riggs joined the Atlanta chapter after growing frustrated and hearing about the business mentorship, the relationships, and the travel opportunities offered through EO.

“EO Accelerators gave me the support and structure to focus my energy and attention on shifting my role from working ‘in’ my business to working ‘on’ my business,” Riggs said. “One of the most valuable assets I have gained from EO is having a warm, engaging group of fellow entrepreneurs to draw on for support and challenge.”

The mission of Accelerator is to help entrepreneurs reach more than $1 million in annual sales, and to create better leaders. With more than 50 companies, the Atlanta chapter has one of the largest Accelerator programs in the world.