Women-owned businesses are an important part of the economy, yet they often face unique challenges. That’s why it’s important to support and promote women-owned businesses, starting with your own community. There are many ways to do this, from networking to providing mentorship and financial support. Doing so can help women-owned businesses get the recognition and resources they need to succeed. So, if you’re looking to get involved and make a positive difference in your community, here are some ways to support and promote women-owned businesses.
Definition of a women-owned business
A women-owned business is a business that is at least 51% owned, operated, and controlled by one or more women. The business might be a corporation, a partnership, a sole proprietorship, or another kind of enterprise. There are more than 12 million women-owned businesses in the United States alone.
Benefits of supporting women-owned businesses
Supporting and promoting women-owned businesses can have a number of benefits, both for the future of female entrepreneurship and the present day economy. Between 1997 and 2007, women-owned businesses added half a million jobs to the economy. In 2021, women started 49 percent of new businesses in the United States. When more women are encouraged to start and grow their own businesses, more jobs are created for women and people of all genders. Finally, supporting women-owned businesses also helps create an environment that is welcoming to female entrepreneurs, which can help reduce feelings of isolation and anxiety and support these women in their journeys.
Networking is one of the best ways to support and promote women-owned businesses. Networking is any two-way communication that helps people build relationships and find new opportunities. You can network with women entrepreneurs in your city by joining or attending networking events in your area, or by joining online networking groups. Offer to help someone with their business, give advice to new entrepreneurs, or share your expertise with others. Be genuine and sincere, and you’re sure to make a valuable networking connection.
If you own a business yourself, mentorship is another way to support women entrepreneurs in your community. Mentors can be helpful for new entrepreneurs who are navigating challenges, such as funding and scaling the business. Mentorship can be as simple as taking a female business owner out to coffee and sharing practice advice, or forming a long-term business relationship where you offer support on a more formal level.
Women-owned businesses often face challenges when it comes to securing loans and other forms of financial support. Promoting financial support for women-owned businesses can help these businesses get the funding they need to grow and succeed. There are many ways to promote financial support for women-owned businesses, including mentorship programs, investment clubs, and crowdfunding campaigns. You can also support women-owned businesses by becoming a client, or by investing in their company as an accredited investor.
Tips for increasing visibility of women-owned businesses
There are many ways to support and promote women-owned businesses, but one important part of the process is making sure that these businesses are visible to the public. There are lots of ways to raise awareness about these businesses, including networking events, advertising campaigns, and community outreach. Here are some ideas for promoting women-owned businesses to get you started:
- Join a business association to get visibility within your industry and start discussions about supporting women-owned businesses.
- Offer discounts to women and encourage them to shop at your business.
- Create a campaign, like #shopWOMEN, to raise awareness about women-owned businesses.
- Host a business-to-business event where women-owned businesses and other organizations in the community can share resources, ideas, and strategies.
How to find and support women-owned businesses in your community
Now that you know what women-owned businesses are and some ways to support and promote them, you’re ready to start looking for promising businesses in your area. There are lots of ways to find women-owned businesses, including online, in person, and by word of mouth. Here are some places to find women-owned businesses:
- Your local business association or Chamber of Commerce
- Female entrepreneur networking groups
- City our county business directories
- Women owned business directories
- Social media accounts and hashtags
- Visiting local shops and stores in person
Women-owned businesses are considered minority businesses, and it is important to promote and support them so that they have every opportunity to thrive. Because women-owned businesses face particular challenges, they need access to resources, recognition and community support in order to overcome these difficulties and remain competitive in a demanding economic environment. Some strategies for supporting local women-owned businesses include networking, mentorship, financial support, promotion and patronage.