The #1 Way to Support Women Entrepreneurs
Women have made huge strides towards equity when it comes to entrepreneurship. There are 12.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States today. That’s compared to just 402,000 in 1972. 4 out of every 10 businesses now are owned by women and femmes which means we’re rapidly working towards equal representation when it comes to business ownership. Which is awesome, but the picture is still a little more bleak if we look at how much women-owned businesses are actually earning.
As of 2018, women entrepreneurs are bringing in $1.8 trillion in revenue and are employing 9.2 million people. Sounds like a lot right? But when you compare that to the stats on men in business, women are employing just 8% of the total private sector workforce and generating a measly 4.3% of private sector revenue.
Let’s celebrate how far we’ve come because the entrepreneurial landscape has hugely shifted. BUT let’s not forget how far we have to go. If we’re going to close this gender gap in business, we need to support women entrepreneurs intentionally—every single time we make a purchase. Read on to learn the #1 thing you can start doing to help now.
Supporting Women Entrepreneurs is Simple
You want to support women in business because you’re a woman entrepreneur yourself or because you want to be an ally. There are a million and one ways to do that, but let’s focus on the #1 most effective way. The one thing you can do that’ll have the biggest impact, taking women-owned businesses from bringing in 4.3% of revenue totals to numbers that equally reflect how many of us own businesses is this:
GIVE WOMEN YOUR MONEY.
Every business needs economic investment to keep their operation going. We all spend money and many of us are buying every single day. We’re buying products, services, and ideas all the time. So get intentional about where your money is going and give it to women!
Nearly anything you need to buy can be purchased from a
**There are affiliate links in this post because I love the products and services so much that I joined their affiliate programs. And also because Oree Virtual is a woman-owned business working to grow too!
Buy Products from Women-Owned Businesses
The easiest way to start supporting women-owned businesses is to think about some of the products you purchase on a regular basis and find a woman to buy them from. Think of products you use every single day and put in a little bit of research to see if you can find a woman entrepreneur selling them.
Take toilet paper for example, we use it every single day right? Well True Green Enterprises is a woman-owned business selling Tree Free sustainable toilet paper! Terry Lehman, the visionary entrepreneur and CEO at True Green, sells paper products made from rapidly renewable resources like bamboo and sugarcane. You may have seen her products on the shelves at Staples—I have! She sells toilet paper, tissues, paper towels, copy paper, and more.
Stop buying your paper products from wherever you are right now and switch over to True Green Tree Free products. You can feel good about supporting a woman in business and about making an Earth-friendly choice.
Here are some MORE products from women entrepreneurs To start using now:
Caffeination as a Means to Empower—City Girl COFFEE
Fun fact that I just made up, but that’s probably true: many women swear that staying caffeinated is one of the keys to their success. So support the women in your life and women entrepreneurs by buying City Girl Coffee. Not only is this coffee company founded by Alyza Bohbot and run mostly by women, but their coffee is actually sourced from women-owned and managed coffee farms and co-operatives too. AND they, “give a portion of every sale back to the organizations that support the success of women in their country of origin.”
This is what I’m talking about! Support women entrepreneurs because even when we’re just selling coffee, we’re doing it in ways that improve the lives of everyone around us. Stop buying your coffee from wherever you’re buying it now and start fueling your caffeine addiction by giving your money to more women in business.
Organization & Style—Clear Calendars
Anjuli Marshall is the CEO and founder of Clear Calendars. Any space will be taken up a notch in style and functionality with these “clear acrylic calendars for your home or office”. Seriously, check out this photo of the CEO herself and her Clear Calendar in this workspace. Talk about #WorkspaceGoals:
Taking Care of Your Period—Lunette
Do you have a period? Have you tried using a menstrual cup yet instead of pads or tampons? If not, I highly recommend it and Lunette is my favorite menstrual cup brand. Menstrual cups are these little silicon, bell-shaped cups that you use just like a tampon—except they’re way more comfortable (seriously-even adamant anti-tampon menstruators should try the menstrual cup), eco-friendly, and safe.
You never have to freak out again that you might die from Toxic Shock Syndrome if you switch to menstrual cups either!
Heli Kurjanen, the woman entrepreneur behind Lunette, “led the charge to create the world’s top menstrual cup” and hands down I say that she’s succeeded.
Taking Care of Everyone’s Period—Aunt Flow
CEO Claire Coder, founder of Aunt Flow, is, “…on a mission to ensure EVERYONE has access to quality menstrual products. For every 10 tampons and pads we sell, we donate 1 to a menstruator in need. I call this people helping people. PERIOD.®”. If you stock your office, library, school, bar, restaurant, or any frequently used bathroom with menstrual products, you’ve got to switch over to Aunt Flow.
Not only will your purchase go towards making sure everyone has access to a pad or tampon, but Aunt Flow tampons and pads are biodegradable and free of synthetics, dyes, and other harsh chemicals. No more public period disasters?! I can get behind that.
Start Working Remotely—Workationing
Workationing is owned and operated by two badass women who are, “digital nomads, besties, marketing pros, and the hosts of the Workationing podcast”—Kari DePhillips and Kelly Chase. They travel the world while running successful businesses and help others do the same.
If working on the beach in winter or making money from a coffee shop in Tokyo is something you’ve always wanted to do,
it’s about time you made that a reality with The Remote Work Starter Kit. It’s a complete video training series that takes you from choosing your remote career through the entire application process. This kit shows you exactly how to stop stalling, replace your income with remote work, and start living your life how you want, wherever you want.
SEO & Social Media Training—The Content Factory
Also founded by Kari DePhillips, The Content Factory is a digital marketing, SEO, and PR business that I personally love (Kelly Chase, mentioned above, is the Content Factory’s SEO Strategist too!). I follow their blog religiously to get tech insight and entrepreneurial advice from other strong women and you should too.
Their products are great investments for any women ready to uplevel their business skills. Things like SEO, content creation, and social media marketing are skills every woman entrepreneur needs to understand and these products are the perfect tools to learn them.
Their SEO 101 Video Training Series is the training program that took me from SEO newbie to confidently optimizing my own website and offering SEO services to my clients. The series takes you through the basics of SEO and on to advanced techniques for keyword research, content creation, link building, and more.
It’ll show you how to turn your website and content into targeted leads and sales-driving machines. SEO is 5.66x more effective than paid search ads so it’s more than fair to say that you really do need to learn what the hell everyone is talking about when they say SEO.
The Social Media Marketing Pro Training Manual is an easy to read and hugely comprehensive guide that lays out exactly how The Content Factory team manages social media for their clients including their strategy, the tools they use, and of course how they use them. It covers Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and when, where, how, and how often to post to each platform.
Basically, if you’re sick of reading a million different takes on how to do social from a million different places, just stop and get this manual because it has everything you need to know.
PS—YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED that Kari and Kelly made my list twice. That’s because I love their work and I’m an affiliate with them. If you love their work as much as I do, become an affiliate too! Email firstname.lastname@example.org after signing up to let them know I referred you so we both get the perks!
Buy Services from Women Entrepreneurs
After you spend some time plotting your switch to all the products from woman-owned businesses you can find, start thinking about the wide array of service based businesses you regularly support. Do you pay to get your taxes or bookkeeping done? Are you planning on taking your dog to a groomer, vet, or pet sitter? Have you been looking for a consultant, coach, or educator?
These are all services that you can hire a woman or femme for, and you should. Every time you’re about to make an investment in a service, take a little extra time in your research to search for a woman entrepreneur to support.
Like I said already, supporting women entrepreneurs is simple. But since our businesses tend to be smaller, they also tend to be a little harder to find. It’ll be worth the research effort though knowing you’re helping to close the gender gap in entrepreneurship.
Start by checking out these service based businesses owned by women:
Build a Strong Online Presence—Oree Virtual
As a service provider and woman entrepreneur myself, of course, I’ve got to put my own business on this list. At Oree Virtual we help women, people of color, and LGBTQIA+ leaders create change by building powerful brands that serve meaningful missions. We design professional websites, clear brand designs, intentional graphic designs, SEO strategies that get Google to notice, and website and social content that brings your audience in and keeps them coming back for more.
I started this business because I feel in my bones how badly the world needs more women, more people of color, more LGBTQIA+ folks, and other underrepresented people in positions of power. If you’ve got a meaningful mission that needs a powerful brand behind it, get in touch—I’d love to talk.
We all need to do our taxes and especially if you own a business, you really need to be paying a professional to do them for you. Cathy Derus at Brightwater Accounting is who I pay to do my taxes and I love working with her. She specializes in working with online businesses which are a whole other level of complicated so stop trying to do it yourself. Tax professionals pay for themselves.
Business Management Software—Dubsado
When your business management software allows you to manage so many aspects of your business in one place, it deserves to be considered a service. With Dubsado you can send proposals, contracts, invoices, and forms like questionnaires and intake forms to your leads and clients all at one time. Dubsado even recently launched a scheduler so your clients can easily choose meeting times with you too.
Your clients and leads can sign, complete, and pay everything all on their computer. Then they can view all of their documents and invoices at any time from the client portal automatically set up for them. It makes your lead generation and client management processes so easy, even for tech challenged users.
Sign up with our Dubsado link or use our code: oreevirtual for 20% off your first month!
Two incredible women entrepreneurs of color, Naomi Hirabayashi and Marah Lidey, created the daily self-care app, Shine, to help make well being more accessible. Motivational text messages every weekday morning remind you to be self-compassionate and take a moment for your mental health. They also connect you to real world and research-backed advice. Over 3 million people already use it, including me, so what are you waiting for?
Invest Like a Woman—Ellevest
Ellevest was founded by Sallie Krawcheck, a former Wall Street CEO and industry veteran. She created an automated investment portfolio management platform designed specifically for women.
To break it down, Ellevest walks you through a very simple online process to examine your financial goals, the timeline in which you want to meet them and creates an investment portfolio tailored for you.
Rather than sticking all of your hard-earned dollars into a savings account with interest rates that don’t even cover the rate of inflation, set up an investment portfolio to reach your financial goals. You’ll be investing in your own goals and in companies that advance women. Ellevest is the first system that’s tailored to women’s incomes and life cycles. It’s time to get more intentional about where you’re putting your savings and investment income too.
Ready to start investing? Get $50 when you fund your first goal if you sign up through Ellevest’s refer a friend program. Simply enter your name and email below and you’ll get an invite from me in your inbox and $50 when you start investing!
Lawyers—Civil Liberty Law
Sometimes we’ve got to sue. Hiring a lawyer may not be what you’re most excited about this year, but when you need to bring your case to a court of law—hire an attorney that’s a woman.
Looking for a criminal defense, civil rights, family law, or personal injury attorney? Look to Michele Rayner-Goolsby at Civil Liberty Law. She’s been featured on CNN, The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Root, and The Huffington Post. As with so many women entrepreneurs, Michele isn’t just doing business as usual. She’s a lawyer, but she’s also an activist and a change agent—a “fearless advocate for justice and equality.”
The #2 Way to Support Women Entrepreneurs
Businesses can’t succeed without money, which is why I’ve laid out so many ways that you can give yours to women-owned businesses. Once you discover women-owned businesses that you love though, make sure to support them in the 2nd most influential way: Spread the word!
Simply leaving a good review and telling your friends about a small woman-owned business can make all the difference. So after you’ve happily made a purchase from one of the women on this list or another woman entrepreneur, take a minute to leave them a review online and send a text to your best friend raving about your experience.
Use your circle of influence, however big it may be, to get the word out about all of the amazing business women out there working hard to make an impact.
Women make up half of the world’s population, it’s about time we made up half of the world’s business owners and brought home half of the world’s income too. Put your money where your mouth is and hire a woman, buy from a woman, and GIVE THEM YOUR MONEY whenever you can.