Today is International Women’s Day, an annual event that “provides an important opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality”.
That day I thought it would be a good time to share some tips on how to support women-owned businesses – not just today, but all year round.
According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, there are more than 11.6 million women-owned businesses in the United States, employing nearly 9 million people and generating sales of $ 1.7 trillion.
How can you show these companies that you support their efforts?
If you have a favorite female-owned company, show your support by spending your money there, or make an effort to find female-owned companies in your community.
“Discover local women-run businesses and make them your go-to place,” says Alyssa Rosenheck, interior design and architecture photographer, stylist, author, speaker, cancer survivor and lifestyle expert.
And don’t keep your favorites to yourself.
“Word of mouth is powerful,” says Rosenheck. “If you find something good, let people know. Use your own platform to shed light on women who inspire you. This can take so many forms: from something as simple as a #FollowFriday on social media, to hosting pop-ups and artist residencies, to large-scale campaign collaborations. “
Successful women can afford it by sharing their knowledge and expertise with other women entrepreneurs.
If your company doesn’t have a formal mentoring program, consider volunteering for SCORE, Million Women Mentors, or the Women Initiative Foundation.
When organizing an event or hosting a panel discussion, invite women to speak.
I can’t count how many conferences and events I’ve attended where the speakers and panelists have lacked diversity, even though many qualified women are more than qualified to speak on the subject if given a chance.
Use your network of women entrepreneurs or visit the Smiley Poswolsky Women and POC Speaker Initiative to give more women the opportunity to talk about their business and share their knowledge.
Do you speak
Don’t forget the power of words of encouragement.
“Words have power – a deep, lasting, driving force,” says Rosenheck. “How do you use your words? To uplift, defend, strengthen and encourage another woman? ”
Use your voice to uplift and empower other women. Here are a few ideas:
- Leave a positive review on Yelp or any other review site
- Promote women owned businesses on social media
- Send an uplifting message to tell a female business owner how much you admire and appreciate her work. Email is nice, but handwritten notes are even more special in the digital age.
Women are often reluctant to talk about money, but 90% of women will be solely responsible for their finances at some point in their life. It’s an important topic of conversation.
“The first thing you can do for other women is to be financially independent yourself and to share what you have learned,” says Rosenheck. “Start by initiating conversations about money, be it salary, investments, real estate, daily rates, passive income, retirement, goals, fair pay, wealth management, taxes, or ANY other area of your financial condition you want. (Also the subtleties of billing, especially for entrepreneurs and creatives!) Keep financial topics at the top of your list because, like in life, it’s important that those who have been through it share their experiences. “
The question now is, what are you going to do today to support women entrepreneurs?