Less than 25 years ago, women in the U.S. were denied business loans unless a male relative cosigned. Crazy, right? Thanks to the National Association of Women Business Owners, the Women’s Business Ownership Act passed in 1988, eliminating discriminatory lending practices. “It was really the big bang for women’s entrepreneurship,” says Julie Weeks, chair of the D.C. conference. Today, women own 40% of U.S. businesses, generating $2 trillion in annual sales. The group’s focus is now on growth, and helping more owners over the million-dollar-revenue mark. — STEPHANIE SCHOMER
World Changing Ideas
New workplaces, new food sources, new medicine--even an entirely new economic system.
The major tech ecosystems that battle for our attention and dollars.
What’s next for hardware, software, and services.
The brave new world of automation, from AI to drones.
How our urban centers are building toward the future.
Most Creative People
See members of our Most Creative People in Business community: leaders who are shaping the future of business in creative ways.
An award-winning team of journalists, designers, and videographers who tell brand stories through Fast Company's distinctive lens.