For many years the idea of a woman owning and operating her own business was unheard of. Economic opportunities for many women were limited (and in some cases still are). Before 1930, women participated little, if not at all, in the economy. Today, there are numerous examples of successful women business owners. Whether you can relate to them personally or not, these tips will bring to light how you can support female entrepreneurs on their journey.
Investigation and Inquiry
Finding women-owned businesses in your area can be hard, but it can be even harder when you move into a new town. Use your resources to your advantage and take some time during your day to research the businesses near you. If you live in a big city like Tampa FL, it can be as simple as searching “women-owned businesses near me”; however, it’s not that easy most of the time.
Start with finding community groups dedicated to empowering and supporting women and seeing where they may shop or eat. If you happen to stumble upon a business you’d like to support, don’t hesitate to check them out! Feel free to ask questions about their history and the various ways you can help them.
In addition to actively seeking out women-owned businesses, try to advocate for them vigorously. You don’t necessarily need to spend money to support women and their businesses. You can educate yourself on the obstacles women face when owning and operating their own businesses. Also, raising awareness of these issues on social media or making it a topic of conversation in the workplace or your friend groups is excellent too.
Furthermore, sometimes female entrepreneurs voice their frustrations online via a support group or on their personal social media pages. In that case, you can try to offer advice and support to allow them to feel seen. Lastly, taking advantage of online review platforms is great because if you see a women-owned business doing something right, leave them an uplifting review!
Now, if you’re a female entrepreneur/business owner, you may wonder, “What can I do?” Well, you’re in luck! There are many support groups and resources you can take advantage of. You can gain a network of support and potential mentors by getting certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise. Being WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise) Certified helps you gain opportunities by increasing the visibility of corporate and government supply chains as well as having access to development programs to spur growth and increase capacity. In addition to receiving this certificate, join online support groups or join seminars that provide you with the ammunition to succeed.
Often society can place stereotypes on women within the workforce, discouraging many female entrepreneurs. Try to change the narrative by creating an environment where women feel like they can succeed and take advantage of opportunities that appear. Not only can you encourage women-owned businesses by supporting them financially, but you can also encourage the women working for you.
Without a doubt, there are many female business owners and entrepreneurs succeeding. Whether small or large, these women have most likely had their fair share of obstacles. If you have the resources and time, try reaching out to these successful individuals and request a time to meet to allow you to learn more about their business journey. Figure out what has worked for them and what hasn’t, discussing possible solutions to problems you may encounter.
If you are a successful female entrepreneur/business owner, lend a helping hand to those women-owned startups near you that may be struggling to establish a name for themselves in the business world. Allow other women to use your journey and experiences as tools to embark on their business expedition.
In the long run, a little support can go a long way. It can be a challenging journey for entrepreneurs, especially following a pandemic. Whether creating partnerships, establishing relationships, or providing support financially, you can always find new ways to support female entrepreneurs in your area.