Many people still view business as a “man’s world,” but actually, a significant number of women are industrious leaders in the business world. According to a 2019 report from American Express, nearly 13 million U.S. businesses are at least 51 percent owned, operated and controlled by one or more females.
The push for more women business leaders and increased awareness of women’s accomplishments in the media are helping give female entrepreneurs the recognition they deserve. Here are five ways you can do your part to celebrate these hard-working femmes and show your support for women-owned businesses this International Women’s Day (March 8) and year-round.
1. Shop brands run by women
Making an effort to buy from female-owned businesses is the best way to show your support. But purchasing products and services from these companies does more than just contribute to their cash flow. It also validates their purpose and helps ensure their long-term success.
Start your search by exploring the Women Owned Business Directory, the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce or the SBA 8(a) online directory. Many cities and states also have their own catalog of registered women-owned businesses, so check with your local chamber of commerce as well.
2. Engage with female-owned businesses on social media
Don’t just follow your favorite lady-brands on Facebook or like their Instagram posts — share what you love about them with your own online network. By posting about one business each week, you can showcase 52 different women-led companies over the course of a year!
Extend your reach by using hashtags like #WomenInBusiness and #WomenSupportingWomen. Rack up a few bonus points on March 8 by tagging any lady-boss shoutouts with #IWD2020 and #EachforEqual.
3. Write an online review
Have a few favorite women-owned brands you want to show some extra love to? Consider writing an online review. Most businesses are itching to have happy customers share their experiences with the world, so make their day by leaving a glowing, but honest, assessment of any products or services you’ve purchased from them in the past.
4. Donate to nonprofits that support female entrepreneurship
Another great way to benefit the women-owned business community is by financially supporting organizations that provide assistance to female entrepreneurs. While there are tons of awesome organizations out there to choose from, here are a few to consider:
- Open Meadows Foundation: This organization offers grants under $2,000 to projects led by and benefitting women and girls in vulnerable communities.
- WiNGS: By providing free training for aspiring and current business owners, WiNGS’ Women’s Enterprise Program helps female entrepreneurs develop a business plan, manage finances, and network with peers and seasoned industry experts.
- Center for Women & Enterprise: Regardless if women are starting a home-based business or running a multi-million dollar technology firm, CWE provides education, technical assistance and guidance to help businesswomen and female entrepreneurs to succeed in the business world.
If financial support isn’t feasible for you, consider volunteering your time with one of these — or countless other — organizations that help give a hand up to industrious women.
5. Attend an International Women’s Day event
From concerts to political marches to wine tastings, there are plenty of opportunities available to celebrate International Women’s Day. When looking for IWD events to attend this year, keep an eye out for business luncheons, leadership forums, career advancement seminars and women’s networking events. Simply showing up demonstrates your support for local women in business.