With March 8th being International Women’s Day and the month of March being Women’s History Month, you may start to see people sharing their favorite women-owned businesses on their social media pages to spread the word. And while we all know it’s important to show love to women-owned businesses all of the time (not just this month!) do you know why and how to actually support these companies?
To celebrate Women’s History Month, we’re discussing the importance of supporting women-owned businesses and how you can show love (aside from just making a purchase!)
Why do we need to support women-owned businesses?
To put it plainly, research has actually shown that when women-owned companies thrive, its direct community comes out on top. In areas where women are encouraged to be entrepreneurs, we see an increase in the overall GDP as well as global benefits. When it comes to places where women are restricted in entrepreneurship, the local and domestic economy suffers greatly.
Also, there are many women-owned businesses that are small businesses as well which benefits the local economy directly. When you’re spending your money at a chain like Amazon or Target, you aren’t benefitting anyone that lives in your community but when you support a small, women-owned business, you’re allowing that money to stay within your local community. The benefit of this is that studies show that local businesses tend to support and reinvest money into other local businesses. It’s basically a win-win for everyone involved!
Money and economy aside, when you invest in a women-owned business, you’re supporting women as a whole. And let’s get real, women haven’t always had the advantage in the business space (and we still don’t!) In fact, women-owned businesses represent over 42% of all businesses in the US yet they only receive 4.75% of federal contracts. If that doesn’t shock you, the average loan amount given to women entrepreneurs was 31% less than it was for male founders. And with the number of women founders increasing every day (it’s actually rose over 114% in the last two decades!), you can see the need for support from the consumer.
On a less statistical scale, men also don’t face many of the societal challenges that women do such as not being taken seriously in the workplace, seeing a lack of support and mentorship from their peers, having to break through stereotypes that are engrained deeply in our society, and dealing with low confidence in being a business owner because there is a lack of female representation at the top of many popular companies. On top of all of that, women often struggle with a stressful work-life balance (more so than their male counterparts.) And while we’re still trying to break the stereotype that women have to tend to the house and care for the kids, only 7% of stay-at-home parents are fathers. So, you can see where the disconnect is.
When you invest in a woman-owned business, you’re actively joining a network of supporters and people to build up that confidence that is often missing in women founders due to this gender disconnect. You’re also proving that there is worth in funding women-owned businesses which helps close that gap! After all, businesses that are founded by women provide over $2 trillion to the U.S. economy every year, so why wouldn’t you want to show some love?
At the very basic level of this, when you support women-owned businesses, you’re not just supporting a company. You’re supporting hopes, dreams, and goals for women who are at the helm of an industry that has been dominated by men for all of eternity. So yes, #womenpower is totally real and necessary!
How to support women-owned businesses
When we say to support women-owned businesses, we do mean spending your money with them but that is not the only way to help move them forward. Here is a list of simple steps you can take to show love to your favorite female-founded companies:
- Engage with their posts on social media. In this day and age, social media can make or break a company. When you find a women-owned business that you like, make sure to give them a follow on social media and like, share, and comment on their posts to show your support. It’s easy, fast, and free and it can make a world of difference to a small business.
- Share with your friends. Speaking of social media, don’t be afraid to share your favorite women-owned companies with your own followers, friends, and family both on social media and in person! Doing so could lead to their next new follower on Instagram or even a sale!
- Don’t be afraid to give feedback! Writing reviews or giving feedback if women founders ask for it can be a huge help—especially if they own a small business. Many small business owners do their own marketing, digital design, sales pitches, and more so the more feedback and help they get, the better.
- Subscribe to their email newsletter. Signing up for an email list or peeking at their brand blog every once in a while can be a big help for small, women-owned businesses. Plus, you get alerted anytime a new product drops or they’re running a sale!
- Give support to your friends and family. If your BFF or sister comes to you with a business idea or they post on their Instagram that they’re looking to start a small company, lift them up! Ask how you can help and make sure to share the great news with all of your friends and family. Like we mentioned before, women often lack that self-confidence when it comes to start their own business so it’s super important to show them support from the very start!