Industry Insights

Supporting Women-Owned Businesses

By: Cynthia L. Vargas
May 19, 2021 • 5 min read

Supporting Your Favorite Women-Owned Businesses!

Up until 1988, women could not obtain a business loan without a male relative as a co-signer. That was a little over 30 years ago, and while it sounds blasphemous, it is shockingly true. It is a bit disheartening to know that many companies in the United States are solely owned by men – because if we are honest, women play a huge role in the Economy.  

It seems as if women have always been fighting for equality in some sense. Women have continuously proved themselves to be hardworking and capable of being in boardrooms and have seats where one was never provided. In 2021, we all bore witness to see the first Black and Asian American woman be sworn in as Vice President of the United States of America. It is ironic to know that several years ago, Kamala Harris, our vice president, could not solely own a company on her own.  

women owned business

Women Contribute to the Economy 

As mentioned earlier, the public began to notice women were vital to the nation’s Economy. Thankfully, due to the National Association of Women’s Business Owners (NAWBO), women could be proprietary owners of their businesses. Today, women are more likely to dive into the entrepreneurship world and depend on their small businesses to support their families. However, there are guidelines needed in the business world to be considered a women-owned small business.

For example, a company has to be predominantly managed and controlled by women to be considered “women-owned ”. There are no specific guidelines when it comes to being a male-owned business. So while women have crushed glass ceilings and have the right to own a business alone, there are still checkboxes that must be tacked. This is one of the major reasons women-owned businesses must be supported by everyone! 

What is Considered a Women-Owned Business?

To be considered a women-owned business, 51% must be owned, operated, and controlled by a woman. Women can also have their business certified via Women-Owned, an initiative from the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and WEConnect International that creates a support system for Women-Owned businesses. 

Being certified also allows these businesses to place a Women Owned logo on their website or storefront. It also enables them to be placed on a nationwide website, which will grant others access. By supporting women who have been certified, we create a pathway for other women to open up their own businesses.

women owned business

Small Businesses Owned by Women of Color 

When it comes to owning a business, women of color are the leading backbone in today’s growing market. There has been a major influx in women of color becoming entrepreneurs. According to inc.com, women of color control 44 percent of women-owned businesses in the United States. Many women take a leap of faith to start a business because they see a necessity in their neighborhood. However, they are more likely to fund their business with their personal capital. Whereas men are most likely to seek venture capital. 

During the height of the pandemic, the Black and Latinx community was hit hard. They suffered many losses, as did the rest of the world. However, they also took the initiative to start companies during this time. A Gusto survey confirms that 47% of businesses opened last year belonged to women of color. Businesses owned by women of color also employ over 2.2 million people, so supporting these establishments is fundamental to our Economy. 

How To Support Women-Owned Businesses:

There are simple ways all of us can support women-owned businesses. First and foremost, we must realize that most of these businesses support a household, a community, and are paving the way for generations to come. Here are some ways to show appreciation and admiration for these establishments!

Engage With Businesses on Social Media

In today’s social media-driven world, it’s easy to advertise for a business without having to spend extra money. Whenever you come across a page you like, you can simply follow them, like their post, and share their account with your followers. Think of it as free marketing! Let us not forget the holy grail of all social media, hashtags. This is the single most efficient way to promote a business. 

women owned business

Write a Review

This is critical as most small businesses rely on reviews to gain more clientele. If you know of a women-owned business, paving the way for simply writing a review on Google, Yelp, or any other social media platform. This will allow the business to rise in ranking! It will also allow other people to discover new places to shop.

Shop Small

Small businesses, especially women-owned businesses, depend on revenue no matter how small. It may be easier to shop from a store that offers free 2-day shipping, but it also hurts smaller companies. Sometimes, small businesses have reward programs that allow you to acquire points each time you purchase something. This will later allow you to get a free cup of coffee or earn a small discount for future visits. These mini incentives are what keep customers coming back! With so many stores creating websites in addition to having a physical establishment, it’s never been easier to shop small. 

Overview

When most people shop, they are not thinking about whether a business is women-owned; they simply want to make a purchase! However, making a conscious effort to shop small, local, and women-owned can make a huge impact. In some cases, it can make the consumer more aware of the opportunities small businesses create in neighborhoods. As stated before, women create businesses because they see a need.  

Whether this need is to have a new vintage boutique or a small coffee shop, these are two businesses that possibly never existed in the community. Therefore, it is important to support local businesses because they allow towns to thrive and provide for families. These women-owned businesses also create jobs for locals, so it is essential to support them! Everyone wants to live in a community-oriented town, and one of the first steps to creating this environment is by supporting local businesses, especially women-owned businesses.

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