KILLEEN, Texas — In comparison to men, women often face a number of barriers in the workforce. Nonetheless, experts say women business ownership is on the rise.
According to the Central Texas Business Resource Center, nearly 2,000 people are registered as business owners in the City of Killeen through the Bell County Annex. More specifically, 46% of those business owners are women.
Two Central Texas moms have found a way to break down barriers and help each other succeed as female entrepreneurs in Killeen.
Watching her family play outside is a moment mom of four Elizabeth Brown-Miller treasures.
"I love it. The boys have definitely kept me on my toes all these years," Brown-Miller said.
In addition to teaching at A&M-Central Texas, Brown-Miller works with kids with autism.
"So, teaching them, you know, more appropriate ways to engage with their environment is what we do," Brown-Miller explained.
She is a board certified behavioral analyst, and is in the middle of opening 3D ABA Services in Killeen, a clinic specializing in early childhood intervention.
"When we open up the clinic, a lot of the skills that I'm going to be teaching are play skills," Brown-Miller said.
However, her family business venture did not just happen overnight. It started at Guiding Light Concepts in Killeen. Owner Brandy Collins first took Brown-Miller under her wing in 2019 and showed her how to open a clinic just like hers.
"My goal has been to be the person I wish I had. And I did not have that when I was opening up. It was a very cut-throat transition for me when I was opening up, unnecessarily," Collins shared.
Dr. Faiza Khoja is the dean of the college of business administration at A&M-Central Texas. She says although the industry is primarily dominated by men, women business ownership is on the rise. Dr. Khoja says mentoring helps.
"I think mentorship and coaching… you know, gives women the confidence and it builds a network... I think that's important," Dr. Khoja explained
Mid-September, Brown-Miller's clinic will open just two doors down from Collins'.
Brown-Miller plans to follow Collins' lead.
"Doing the same thing that she gave to me. Mentoring those that are coming behind me and if they want to open up their own business, then walk them through the steps… This is how you get it done. This is how you do it right," Brown-Miller.
She hopes others feel inspired to do the same.