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Bridging the Gender Gap in Entrepreneurship: How to Support Women-Owned Small Businesses

As a woman, International Women’s Day holds a special place in my heart. It’s a day to celebrate the incredible achievements of women and to recognize the unique challenges that we face. One way to celebrate Women’s Day is by supporting women-owned small businesses.

As a female entrepreneur myself, I know firsthand the obstacles that women face when starting and growing a business. Funding, mentorship, and networking opportunities are often harder to come by for women entrepreneurs. Despite these challenges, women-owned businesses are on the rise, and they are making a significant impact on the economy.

According to a study by American Express, there are now over 12 million women-owned businesses in the United States, generating over $1.8 trillion in revenue and employing over 9 million people. Women entrepreneurs bring a unique perspective and approach to business, often driven by a desire to create positive change and make a difference in their communities. They also tend to prioritize work-life balance and build businesses that align with their values.

So, how can we support women-owned small businesses? As a consumer, one way to show support is by shopping at women-owned businesses and promoting them on social media. By buying from women-owned businesses, we can help to grow their customer base and provide them with the resources they need to succeed. As a fellow entrepreneur, I believe that mentorship and support are also key to helping women entrepreneurs succeed. By sharing our knowledge and experience, we can help bridge the gender gap in entrepreneurship.

Finally, we can advocate for policies that support women-owned businesses, such as increased funding for small business loans and grants and increased access to resources and support. As a woman, I believe it’s our responsibility to work together to create a more equitable and inclusive economy that benefits everyone.

Here are a few links to resources and organizations that support women-owned small businesses:

  1. National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO): NAWBO is a membership organization that provides resources and support to women entrepreneurs. They offer networking opportunities, mentorship programs, and advocacy for policies that support women-owned businesses.
  2. Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC): WBENC is a certification organization that helps women-owned businesses gain access to contracts and opportunities with corporations and government agencies. They offer a range of certification programs and resources to help women entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
  3. Women’s Business Centers (WBCs): The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) sponsors a network of Women’s Business Centers across the country that provide training, counseling, and resources to women entrepreneurs. They offer workshops and one-on-one coaching to help women-owned businesses start and grow.
  4. American Express Shop Small Map: American Express has a Shop Small Map that allows consumers to search for and find small businesses in their area, including women-owned businesses. This is a great resource for finding and supporting local women entrepreneurs.
  5. Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi): We-Fi is a global partnership that provides funding and support to women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries. They offer a range of financing and technical assistance programs to help women entrepreneurs access the resources they need to succeed.