In an age that recognizes gender equality more than ever, it raises implications in the business world, particularly women as business owners and entrepreneurs alike. Regardless, what makes an entrepreneur boils down to skill set and experience. But for today, let’s zoom in on women-led businesses and how they are as tough as anyone in the industry.
As evidenced by a 2019 report, female-led businesses were more profitable and better in performance than those of male-led ones. The economic benefits were found to total up to $1.8 billion globally. On a similar note, according to American Express’s 2019 State of Women-Owned Business Report, 42% of all businesses in the country were women-owned, providing jobs to 9.4 million people and generating $1.9 trillion in revenue.
Despite the lack of support for businesswomen, a report by the Inter-American Development Bank showed that even if Latin America received up to 50% less investment, women-owned businesses could still achieve revenues up to 20% higher than their male cohorts. Where there’s a will, there is a way, as they say.
Take note that these studies were conducted before the outbreak of COVID-19.
Woman-Owned Businesses Today
Ever since the pandemic started, women’s businesses have suffered. That goes for most businesses today. In one report by the US Chamber of Commerce, women-owned small businesses reported to be less optimistic in their revenue, investment plans, and hiring plans than male-owned small businesses.
Every business owner has their share of struggles. Surely, you have yours too. Women entrepreneurs already face significant challenges such as a lack of funding, a lack of confidence, and market saturation. Additionally, there is the issue of imposter syndrome many women in business feel. Work-family conflicts and socialized roles may contribute to the lack of confidence women entrepreneurs feel in operating their businesses. Despite these cards, people are breaking the mold, and a rise of women entrepreneurs was born.
Many groups and initiatives have been started to break down these barriers. They have provided opportunities to women-led businesses that cater to the losses incurred during these times.
How Women Entrepreneurs Can Make It Through COVID
The US Chamber of Commerce suggests significant steps for women-owned businesses to survive the effects of the pandemic. For starters, have your business certified as a woman-owned small business (W.O.S.B.). This will qualify your business for special federal contracts not available to others. In addition, if you meet the economic requirements, you can also get a certification for economically disadvantaged woman-owned small businesses (E.D.W.O.S.B.).
Familiarize yourself with which service providers respect the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act. This aids disadvantaged businesses, including those owned by women, because of the pandemic. Lastly, consider joining women’s entrepreneurial groups for support not just during this pandemic but other times of crisis in the future too. It’s a great way to create a network while having a support group.
Another thing worth considering is coming up with strategies to bolster your business through online channels. This doesn’t necessarily require outside help or a third party; it’s something you can initiate yourself.
Despite the availability of the vaccine and businesses operating again, nothing spreads the word better than social media. In fact, this is one of the main tools many small businesses have been using to help keep themselves afloat.
Many have been utilizing Facebook and TikTok in their marketing campaigns while keeping their websites mobile-friendly to facilitate user experience. A great web design and engagement in social media platforms will help your business grow. To add, the right strategies can help you reach your target audience, which will eventually translate to higher revenue.
The bottom line is you have a knack for business. You could have “untapped” potential that’s demonstrated and will continue to demonstrate their contribution to the economy, most especially after the pandemic. Although the data presented were observations made before the pandemic, it still poses an important implication: women can do it too. It’s important to be equipped with the right tools, know your resources, and make opportunities despite the pandemic. This might be the key to remedying the economy post-COVID.
No matter what business one is running, there will always be roadblocks ahead. The pandemic sure is a unique one. This universal struggle has proven itself to be one everyone has learned from one way or another. If anything, it’s taught many business owners to be resourceful, resilient, and effective despite the circumstances. To this day, it’s still teaching us this.