A woman-owned business is a company that is at least 51% owned by a woman or women. Supporting these businesses leads to more money in the pockets of women and creates more opportunities for them.
There are many reasons why you should support these businesses. Firstly, it supports women in their personal lives as well as their professional lives. Secondly, it helps create an environment where women have more opportunities to succeed and advance themselves in the workplace. Thirdly, it offers women more opportunities to take ownership of their own work and be recognized as leaders in their fields. Finally, it helps create a society where we all have equal opportunity to succeed.
Why It’s Important To Support Women Owned Businesses As They Represent A Huge Market
Women are often overlooked by the business world, which represents a huge market.
Women-owned businesses make up $1.4 trillion of the U.S. economy, according to a 2017 report by the Women’s Business Development Agency (WBDA). These businesses employ nearly 8 million people—almost 50% of whom are female employees.
According to data from the Center for Women’s Business Research (CWBR), women make up almost 25% of small businesses in the United States and own more than 10 million businesses.
The number of women-owned firms has increased steadily over time, with an increase from 6 million in 1997 to 10.2 million in 2017, according to CWBR data. However, female-owned firms are still underrepresented in many industries, including construction and healthcare.
Simple ways to support women owned businesses
I am often asked the best ways to support fellow women in business. Many of my fellow entrepreneurs will agree that the kind of support we want from our loved ones is not always financial support. Yes! You read that correctly. We realize that our friends and family may not be our target audience. Buying products or services that you cannot or will not use is no value for any of us.
So how can you help? There are countless ways that will allow you to uplift, encourage and bring additional potential customers to the women in business in your life.
Here are few ways to get you started:
Share their business information with others.
This could be done by passing along a business card, sharing a social media post from them or even sharing an image of the two of you on Woman Crush Wednesday or Small Business Saturday. Let others know why you admire her and business savviness. I promise you those small gestures mean the world to us and you never know the type of business opportunities it will send their way.
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Introduce them to your circle of friends.
Find fun ways to host get togethers and have everyone share what they do. These informal networking events are a great way to connect others and can lead to great friendships. And your entrepreneurial friend probably needs a night out with the girls!
Acknowledge their hard work and dedication.
One of the resounding issues among fellow entrepreneurs is the lack of support from their loved ones. Take the time to ask questions and gain clarity on the work they do. Realize that they are making sacrifices and to them they are truly worth it because they are fulfilling their passion and purpose in life.
Don’t ask for discounts or free products.
Just don’t. If they offer, that’s great but realize that the discounts and freebies that they are giving to you may be directly impacting their profitability and sales.
Search out women in business that you can support.
Even if the product or service your loved one offers is one you don’t use or need, realize there are many ways to patronize a women-owned business. Ask those you know for recommendations and support as much as possible.
Ask how you can support them.
Again, it is that simple sometimes. Asking and being willing to help shows them that they have someone they love and trust that has their back.
How To Find And Support Female Entrepreneurs In Your Area
We need to make sure that we are not only supporting female entrepreneurs, but also finding them. This is important, because women often have a harder time getting the resources and support they need to start their own business and grow it to be successful.
The best way to find female entrepreneurs in your area is by networking with other local business owners. They are the people you will likely know, and they can point you in the right direction of more female entrepreneurs.
To my fellow women in business, I leave you with this quote from the CEO and co-founder of Origami Owl on growth and stability as a business:
“We began as a company full of passion and had little strategy,
and evolved to a company full of strategy and had little passion,
but we’re starting to find a balance.”
This valuable advice from Chrissy Weems reminds you that your business will evolve and shift over time. Finding balance may not come immediately, but with the right support team, it can happen. Allow your friends and family to help you through the process. You can do this by being open and transparent about the type of support you need. With this information they will know how to show up.