March is Women’s History Month, a month to honor important women in our lives, acknowledge the impact women have had on society, and support causes that fight for equality and justice for women around the world. But while we often recognize famous female entrepreneurs who have paved the way for women in business, we must also assist those who are working hard to start and grow their businesses today.
An important first step to understanding how you can support women-owned businesses is to learn about the unique obstacles and barriers women must overcome. In March, we recognize those struggles while also encouraging greater focus on females in business and how we can be better champions for them.
Here are the five best ways we’ve found to support female business during Women’s History Month:
Shop brands founded and operated by women.
Probably the most widely accepted and easiest way to support women-owned businesses is to buy from them. Use your wallet to show your support. And there are plenty of businesses and brands to choose from, especially since recent reports share that there are over 153 million women-owned companies operating around the world and over 250 million women call themselves entrepreneurs.
Spending your income with females and female-owned companies not only helps to correct historical challenges but can help to create jobs and make a difference in income equality. So consider your purchases this month and buy something, order food, or even purchase gift certificates from women-owned businesses to enjoy with friends and family.
There are women-owned companies selling just about every product under the sun, but here are just a few worthy examples:
Evio Beauty is a vegan and cruelty-free makeup and skincare brand founded by Brandi Leifso at the young age of 21 when she was living in a women’s shelter home as a survivor of domestic abuse. These products not only inspire beauty but also build a platform to evoke change with kindness for others and for the planet.
AnaOno, is an inclusive intimates and loungewear brand designed for those affected by breast cancer, breast surgeries or discomfort. Personally crafted by founder and breast cancer survivor Dana Donofree to fit women of all sizes, shapes, and walks of life – women with no breasts, unilateral breasts, mastectomy breasts, augmented breasts, au natural breasts, and more – these intimates literally support women in every way.
Silver Spun Goods is a unique sock brand that is infusing fine quality socks with pure silver to inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria and assist in killing germs. Not only are they comfortable and fresh wear after wear, with no wash required for up to a week, but this innovation was created by 63-year-old entrepreneur Laurie Gonyea!
Read books written about women or by women.
Get inspired by reading about women’s historical achievements or learn more about issues that females in business are tackling by reading books that have been written about them. Or, choose books that have been written by women to support female authors!
Historically it has been harder for women to become successful writers, but recent studies continue to suggest that both men and women are more likely to read books by men — whether it be self-help, books about business and industry, or fiction literature. So support for females, and to truly understand the female experience, starts with reading books written about them and written by them.
Amplify women’s experiences by reading about them and encourage female authors by acknowledging what they have to say and purchasing their work.
A few to add to your reading list include Great or Nothing a WWI era retelling of Little Women co-authored by Joy McCullough, Caroline Tung Richards, Tess Sharpe, and Jessica Spotswood; Tell Me Everything: The Story of a Private Investigation, a memoir and deeply personal account that reads like a true crime novel about how author Erika Krouse broke open the case of the college student who was raped and attacked by football players at a party; and A Woman is No Man, the debut novel by Arab-American Etaf Rum that takes readers inside the lives of conservative Arab women living in America.
Visit an experience or attend a class run by a pioneering woman.
It is not only women with tangible products that need support, but also those that provide services, showcase the arts, or teach. Choosing to spend time with or learn from a female gives these women a chance to share their passions, and not only will you enjoy an experience and likely learn a useful skill, but some of their creativity and ambition may just rub off on you!
Whether it’s crafting, designing, or making — or perhaps taking a tour or sharing an aspect of cultural heritage — supporting women who host experiences and teach their skills is a strong way to honor their contributions.
In the arts especially, there are some new works by powerful female artists coming out in 2022. From March 3 to 13th, for example, the Boston Ballet is premiering five new pieces created by women in a show titled ChoreograpHER, and a new show at New York’s Public Theatre is debuting this month about suffragettes in the seven years leading up to the passage of the 19th Amendment.
Offer investment assistance to women-owned businesses.
As was mentioned, we most often target monetary support for female-owned companies through purchasing power, but imagine how much growth could also be sparked through investment.
Recent Kauffman Foundation statistics suggest that companies led by women are more capital-efficient, generate more revenue, and perform better over time, yet despite all of this and the fact that women are making great strides in entrepreneurship, they often have a harder time attracting investment. Lack of venture capital funding is an aspect of business development that is a particular problem for many women-owned businesses. But individuals actually have multiple opportunities to turn this around.
You can offer investment assistance to women in business by using your money to invest in funds specifically designed to support women entrepreneurs, find unique opportunities through crowdfunding campaigns like GoFundMe or seed-funding investment opportunities specially for women like ElleVest, IFundWomen, and Women You Should Fund.
These efforts not only help female entrepreneurs to raise needed capital, but they often have helpful coaching services too, including grant programs, mentoring services, networking events, and other start-up advice.
Engage with and promote women-owned businesses.
The awareness you create about a company can draw more customers to a business, so referring, sharing, and promoting women-owned businesses not only spreads the word about their products and services, but helps others to know that those businesses are an integral part of your community.
By using your social platforms and other outlets to engage with and promote women-owned businesses you are providing an essential support to these hard-working women. And when you have a great experience, leaving an online review for that company on sharing sites like any of the major review hubs including Yelp, Google, and Facebook, helps to increase their visibility and encourage others to purchase their products and services, too.
One of the biggest ways to support women is by supporting their business. Fetch is proud to support Women’s History Month and share these best ways to support women all month — and all the time!