Bringing calm to what could be a chaotic kitchen, Jacqueline Bonanno has years of experiencing leading women and men.
“I think that a diverse workforce is the best thing you can have,” said Scott Henley, director of operations for Bonanno Concepts.
Bonanno owns four restaurants across Colorado and is considered an inspiration for the next generation of aspiring women business owners.
“I love it,” said a cook at Green Russell, a cocktail joint and restaurant. “I got a daughter, and I will be proud of her one day when she opens her own restaurant.”
A new study shows more women are becoming business owners across the country.
“For the last several years we’ve recognized the importance of the impact of women entrepreneurs,” said Allen Gutierrez with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
He says between 2014 and 2019, the number of women-owned businesses increased 21% to almost 13 million nationwide.
Gutierrez added the reasons in growth range from more opportunities to more women making a side hustle a legit business. Whatever the reasons, he projects even more women to become business owners
“Certainly, it makes an impact in terms of the domino effect in their community,” Gutierrez said. “Then you see those increase and become even stronger and be an employer based in that aspect.”
As more women own their own businesses, Bonanno reflects on balancing making a profit and parenthood.
“There were times when I was nursing in the basement and lectured by a manager that that was inappropriate,” she said.
The ability to overcome obstacles has others looking to Bonanno as a source of inspiration
“It shows you that I can do it, too,” said Alexis Broswell, a line cook at Green Russell. “You just have to have the confidence.”
While flattered by the compliment, Bannono is now focusing on nurturing her employees to go out and open their own businesses.
“When I see what young women are doing right now, I think it’s breathtaking,” she said.
Despite having big dreams, Bannono says when starting a business, that it's best to start small and grow from there.
“Try to stay away from investors if you can,” she said. “There’s nothing but opportunity and it’s just going to get better and better.”