Tomorrow kicks off Women's Small Business month, which at Athena Legal Solutions is a very exciting month. Our mission is to support women entrepreneurs who are looking for a partner to be part of their team so they can establish a solid legal foundation for their business or nonprofit. Too often small business owners and nonprofits avoid working with lawyers for fear of cost or thinking they are too small to need legal advice. But that isn't true. Any business or nonprofit should have a lawyer who is part of their team advocating for them, helping them avoid the legal pitfalls that could destroy all they've built.
National Women’s Small Business Month takes place every October. Promoted by the National Women’s Business Council, the annual event celebrates women-owned businesses and helps encourage more women to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. This month was chosen to commemorate the signing of the Women’s Business Ownership Act, which occurred in October of 1988. Believe it or not, before this legislation women needed a male representative to co-sign their business loans.
Odds are you know a woman entrepreneur who owns a business. This month, take the extra time to celebrate and support female entrepreneurship.
So, you might be asking how can I best support women business owners?
Here are six ways you can support those women business owners you know.
Share exciting and often unknown facts about women in business
Most articles about women in business focus on inequality and harassment, rather than on success, progress, opportunity or resilience. In celebration of National Women’s Small Business Month, consider sharing some positive facts about women in business on your social media. After all, the best way to inspire young women to go into business is by encouraging them with success stories.
These three facts can get you started, but there’s a lot more information in State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, which is published annually by American Express and worthy of a full read.
In 1972, women only owned 4.6% of all businesses in the United States. As of 2019, women owned 42% of all businesses.*
Women-owned businesses grew 21% from 2014 to 2019, and businesses owned by women of color grew at double that rate. Numbers for black women entrepreneurs grew the fastest, with an increase of 50%. In fact, as of 2019, women of color accounted for 50% of all women who owned businesses.*
There are nearly 13 million women-owned businesses in the United States, employing 9.4 million workers and generating revenue of $1.9 trillion annually.*
Women of color account for 50% of female business owners.*
* U.S. Census Bureau Quick Facts: United States and The 2019 State of Women-Owned Business Report by AMEX
Promote women entrepreneurs on social media
Did you just buy a great new product from a woman-owned business? Do you know a female entrepreneur who’s leading the way for other business owners? Then show them some love on social media!
Even if you have a small following every bit of promotion helps. One of your friends could tell a friend, and they could tell a friend, and slowly but surely the word spreads. So don’t be shy about telling everyone you know about the incredible woman-owned business you’ve discovered.
Write a Google review
Similarly, small businesses live and die by Google reviews. Take time one day a week this month to review women-owned businesses.
To do this, do a Google search for the business you are looking for and then click on Write a Review as you can see below. It is after the contact information for the business.
Shop at a women-owned business
The easiest way for you to support women entrepreneurs is to buy their products and services. With so many women-owned businesses, there’s an endless number of incredible offerings to choose from.
If you want a quick and easy way to find some awesome women-owned businesses, make sure to check out our Women Power Partners Directory. You can also search the Women-Owned Business Directory to find female-led businesses near you or online.
Volunteer or become a mentor
Consider giving back by either volunteering with organizations that support women in business or becoming a mentor. Nonprofit organizations like Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) or SCORE are a great place to start.
Invest and donate to help women in business
If you’re too short on time to get into mentorship or advocacy, you can support female-owned small businesses by investing or donating.
Here are a few non-profits to consider donating to:
Center for Women & Enterprise
Association of Women’s Business Centers
Women’s Business Development Center
Women’s Global Empowerment Fund
No donation is too small, so if you’d like to offer assistance to women-owned businesses this is a great time to do it.
Thank a Women Business Owner
Ninety percent of small business owners give back to their community. Take some time this month to thank the women business owners in your community for all they do for the community. A bouquet of flowers, a thank you note, a bottle of wine, or a gift card go a long ways to letting women business owners know that they are seen and appreciated.
Looking for ways to support women-owned businesses every day this month?
Download our Celebrating Women's Small Business Month calendar that offers a different way to celebrate women entrepreneurs each day of the month.