Let us ask you a question: Do you observe and support Small Business Saturday? More importantly, how many women-owned businesses do you try to support on this day?
As we end our Thanksgiving feasts with Black Friday hot on our heels, our shopping lists are only bound to grow. And as you shop local, you should also shop women-owned.
If you’re curious to learn a little more about why, here’s what you need to know:
(Women-Led) Business 101
Every year, we see more and more women-led and owned businesses emerging. That being said, how many you will find may depend on the industry.
For example, according to the 2021 annual report created by The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC), woman-owned businesses in the United States are “concentrated in” the five following industries:
- Other services
- Healthcare and social assistance
- Professional, scientific, and technical services
- Retail trade
- Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services.”
Of course, regardless of industry, women face unique challenges in business compared to male colleagues or competitors. And, from day one, it all comes down to the money.
“When women business owners pitch their ideas to investors for early-stage capital, they receive significantly less—a disparity that averages more than $1 million—than men,” the Boston Consulting Group found. “Yet businesses founded by women ultimately deliver higher revenue—more than twice as much per dollar invested—than those founded by men.”
But, if these gaps emerge so early on for these businesses, what might the overall picture look like for established businesses today?
Her Business Matters
Despite the aforementioned, women-led and owned businesses today are doing well overall.
“Women-led businesses employed 10.1 million workers and accumulated $1.8 trillion in receipts in 2019,” as reported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, which deemed 2021 a “Year of Historic Achievements for Women-owned Businesses.”
That being said, the positive trends in this area are not necessarily felt across the board. Rather, the matter of intersectionality brings other challenges to light.
Specifically, since 2014, the revenue raised by women-of-color-owned businesses shrank, creating a disparity between these businesses and those owned by Caucasian women.
What’s more, “the disparity has an enormous effect on the U.S. economy,” according to the 2019 State of Women-Owned Business Report, which was commissioned by American Express. “Four million new jobs and $981 billion in revenue would be added if [the] average revenue of minority women-owned firms matched that of white women-owned businesses.”
Thus, it is of increasing importance that we specifically seek out and support businesses that are owned and led by women of color.
S.H.E. Matters is Open for Business
With women generating record profits for our economy — as well as revolutionizing the workforce and workplace cultures — a little support to a woman-led business could have a bigger impact than you’d think.
Further, we would love to highlight some of your favorite locally-owned businesses that are owned and run by women. After all, word of mouth is powerful unto itself!