The Lasting Impact of Women in Business and How to Support Them
In recent years, the world has witnessed a remarkable surge in women-led companies, with women from diverse backgrounds and industries stepping into the entrepreneurial arena. This rise is not merely a trend, but rather a reflection of the immense potential of women and their determination to carve their own paths and create successful small business empires.
Understanding the reasons behind this surge in women’s entrepreneurship is crucial in appreciating their achievements. Women entrepreneurs possess the resilience, creativity and adaptability that enable them to overcome challenges and drive their businesses toward success. Moreover, they bring fresh perspectives and innovative approaches, injecting new energy into industries that were previously male-dominated.
As we explore this topic further, we will delve into inspiring stories of accomplished women entrepreneurs who have shattered glass ceilings across various industries. We will examine key factors contributing to their triumphs while highlighting practical strategies for aspiring female business owners to follow suit and for people who want to help empower female entrepreneurs.
What Is a Women-Owned Business and Why Does It Matter?
Throughout history, women entrepreneurs have made significant strides in the business world. Surprisingly, perhaps, 30% of businesses in Victorian times were run by women. From then, women business owners have come a long way, overcoming numerous challenges and societal barriers.
Businesses owned by women are a vital component of the global business landscape, representing a powerful force for economic growth and progress. At their core, women-owned businesses are defined by the fact that 51% or more of their ownership lies in the hands of women.
In recent years, we have witnessed a remarkable growth in the number of women-run businesses. 42% of businesses in the U.S. are owned by women and over 1,800 new women-owned businesses are created each day in the U.S. (We need to do some catching up in the UK, but its rising here too!). This rise can be attributed to several factors, including increased access to education and resources, shifting societal norms and supportive communities aimed at empowering women entrepreneurs.
Empowering women through business ownership is not just about financial independence. It also encompasses breaking down barriers, challenging societal norms and stereotypes, and creating opportunities for women to thrive in leadership roles. By supporting female entrepreneurs and investing in their businesses, we can empower women to create more diverse and inclusive workplaces.
Women-Owned Businesses Are on the Rise
The rise of women-owned businesses is an empowering trend that deserves our attention and support. In 2022, women in the UK established over 150,000 new companies – more than twice as many as in 2018.
However, we cannot become complacent. To truly foster the growth of women-owned businesses, we must continue to build on this momentum. It is crucial that we provide the necessary resources and opportunities for aspiring female entrepreneurs to thrive.
Important Women-Owned Business Statistics
‘Gender should never limit anyone’s potential. Women-owned businesses have proven time and again that they can achieve remarkable success and make substantial contributions to their respective industries. As leaders in their companies, women can bring unique perspectives, foster inclusive work environments and drive innovation.’
Minority Women–Owned Business Statistics
In today’s diverse and ever-evolving world, it is crucial to recognize and support the efforts of minority women–owned businesses. By doing so, we not only contribute to the growth of our economy but also foster greater inclusivity and diversity in our communities.
When we support minority women–owned businesses, we empower individuals from various ethnicities and backgrounds to thrive in the business world. By providing opportunities for Black women, Latin women, and others from underrepresented groups, we create a more inclusive workforce that reflects the true diversity of our society.
Here are some statistics you might find interesting:
Inspirational Success Stories of Women-Owned Businesses
In our community, we have witnessed the inspiring stories of women-owned businesses that have empowered not only themselves but also the places they work and live. These small businesses have made significant contributions to the local economy and have achieved remarkable success in their fields.
Proudly Unstoppable Stevie Shao and Mar Figueroa
One of the female small business owners we want to highlight is Stevie Shao, a Seattle-born-and-raised second-generation Chinese-American artist, who’s making her mark as an artist, illustrator and muralist. She’s using her skills and creativity to highlight culture and symbolism around the world.
Another artist and female entrepreneur we want to highlight is Mar Figueroa. Born in Ecuador and based in New York, she paints scenes that celebrate Andean culture and uplift Indigenous identity in Latin America. In 2020, she made the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in Art & Style.
Small, Women-Owned Businesses Turned Big
The stories of successful entrepreneurs like Sara Blakely, Sophia Amoruso, Katrina Lake and Leanne Alvarez showcase the power of community and the remarkable achievements that can be made with determination and drive. These women have not only achieved personal success but have also made significant contributions to empowering small businesses and inspiring other community members to pursue their dreams.
Sara Blakely’s story is a testament to entrepreneurship at its finest. With only $5,000 in savings, she founded Spanx at the age of 27. Her innovative shapewear revolutionized the industry and created a brand that is now globally recognized. Through her success, Blakely has not only demonstrated her business acumen but has also become a role model for aspiring entrepreneurs worldwide.
Similarly, Sophia Amoruso’s journey from starting Nasty Gal in her bedroom at age 22 to becoming an influential figure in the fashion industry is awe-inspiring. She built a thriving online empire through her keen eye for style and her ability to connect with her target audience. Alongside Nasty Gal, Amoruso founded Girlboss, a platform dedicated to empowering women through resources, events and community support.
Katrina Lake’s entrepreneurial journey with Stitch Fix showcases how thinking outside the box can lead to great achievements. Shipping her first order out of her Cambridge, Massachusetts apartment, Lake disrupted the traditional retail model by introducing personalized styling services through data-driven algorithms. Today, Stitch Fix is valued at billions of dollars and has transformed the way people shop for clothing.
Originally from New Orleans, Leanne Alvarez started her career in medical sales but always dreamed of owning her own business. By becoming one of our franchisees in Pearland, Texas, she’s not only fulfilled her dream of becoming a business owner but she’s also helping other women forge their own paths into entrepreneurship.
She shares, “I now make it a point to guide younger employees and support other female-owned small businesses and brands where I can.”
How You Can Support Women-Owned Businesses
Supporting women-owned businesses is not just about making a purchase; it’s about creating a ripple effect within the community and empowering female entrepreneurs. By consciously choosing to shop at local or online stores that are owned and operated by women, you contribute to their business development and success.
Investing in female-led startups can be a game changer for both the individual entrepreneur and the wider economy. Women face unique challenges when it comes to accessing capital, and by investing in these startups, you can help bridge that gap and ensure they have the resources they need to thrive.
Donating to organizations that support women in business is another impactful way to make a difference. These organizations often offer programs and initiatives focused on providing support, mentorship and networking opportunities to aspiring female entrepreneurs. Your contribution can help fund these vital programs, allowing more women to access the resources they need to succeed.
Benefits of Supporting Women-Owned Businesses
Supporting women-owned businesses is not just a matter of empowerment and equality, it also brings a plethora of benefits to our country, local communities, teams, corporations and small businesses. By consciously investing in women-led ventures and encouraging decision-makers to embrace diversity in their operations, we can achieve a more inclusive and prosperous society.
One of the significant advantages of supporting women-owned businesses is that it strengthens the economy. A Boston Consulting Group study shows that women entrepreneurs who get funding generate over twice as much in revenue per dollar invested as men entrepreneurs and generate 10% more revenue over five years.
Additionally, supporting women-owned businesses helps create a more inclusive, fair workplace. Supporting female-owned businesses helps reduce the gender pay gap, and studies have shown that businesses led by women are more likely to be eco-friendly.
Ultimately, supporting women-owned businesses goes beyond transactions – it’s about recognizing the immense talent and potential that exists within this diverse group of entrepreneurs. By investing time, resources and capital into their ventures, we collectively work toward leveling the playing field so that gender does not limit one’s ability to succeed in business or in life. Together as a community, we have the power to make a difference for generations of aspiring entrepreneurs.