Apple Growth Partners

Strategic Sisterhood: Shattering the Glass Ceiling

Apple Growth Partners now offers dedicated accounting and business advisory services to women business owners as a part of our Commitment to Excellence. Female entrepreneurs face different challenges from their male counterparts, not only by having to shatter a glass ceiling, but also succeeding in industries that may be heavily influenced by men. AGP’s 30 female accountants and business advisors are trained to help women business owners propel their companies, with an extra commitment that female business owners may not be receiving from their business advisors.

Women business owners are immensely impacting the economy, a stat that is showing no signs of declining. The American Express State of Women-Owned Businesses Report in 2017 stated women’s entrepreneurship has been increasing in the United States over the last 20 years. According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, 11.6 million firms are owned by women and they generate $1.7 trillion in sales. Yes, trillion. Female entrepreneurs also employ nearly nine million people. That is the definition of a #BossLady.

Women-owned firms make up for 39% of all privately-held firms and one in five firms with revenue of $1 million or more has a female owner. Women business owners also lead the way in diversity: 5.4 million firms are majority-owned by women of color in the U.S., that employ 2.1 million people and bring in $361 billion in annual revenue. Women are expanding their presence in industries such as construction, arts, entertainment & recreation, and other services (e.g. hair and nail salons, pet care businesses).

The 2017 American Express State of Women-Owned Business Report summarizes women entrepreneurs have grown significantly in the past two decades, but still have room to grow, especially among several states in the U.S. (Ohio included, our home base). These stats prove women as business owners are a force to be reckoned with and AGP is committed to growing the legacy of female entrepreneurs.

Even though we’re accountants and business advisors, it’s not just about the numbers. Hear directly from our leaders that are designing our women business owner focus to why female leadership is critical to them, in their own words:

Kristy Angerstien

Kristy Angerstien | Supervisor, Tax

Women business ownership is important because as women, we are gifted with so many great qualities, such as persistence, good communication, multitasking, patience, being intuitive, knowing how to ask for help, and giving credit when it is due. All of these qualities attribute to being a successful business owner and leader. As women business owners, we increase the economic stability of our surrounding communities, support our families and grow wealth. Women business owners collaborate together and set the ultimate example that you can do anything you set your mind and soul to. 

As a mother of a 14-year-old daughter, every decision I make from at home or during my work day she is always in the front of my mind. I want to be able to illuminate to her that anything is possible, that you must always work hard, and how you treat people, no matter who they are, is the most important value. The one person I want to impress and gain respect from is my daughter – I want to be her role model as a woman in business and in the world.

“Our words have power, but our actions shape our lives.” – Rachel Hollis

Bethany Dria

Bethany Dria, Senior Associate | Business Valuation

In the world of finance, there are many caring, accomplished, and inspiring male role models, but not that many female role models in upper management/ownership. I tell my step-daughter regularly that she can accomplish anything she sets her mind to, and that she can be the change in the world she is waiting for. Following that same guidance, what better way to help broaden, strengthen, and develop the diversity of business ownership and effect change, than to be the changing factor and role model sometimes lacking in today’s environment. Then when my step-daughter’s generation is in the workforce, they will benefit from the actions I have taken today.



Krista Steedly

Krista Steedly | Supervisor, Audit & Assurance

A hundred years ago, it was almost unheard of for a woman to have a job. Today, many women are becoming entrepreneurs in their own right!

It encourages me to learn about so many women who are successful business owners. My experiences working with women have shown me that many possess skills that are imperative for a business owner to have – interpersonal skills, willingness to teach, good communication, and many others. I have been fortunate enough to see how these skills have allowed men and women to complement each other in business. My hope is that this continues to improve over the next 100 years.