How to Celebrate National Women’s Small Business Month in October
Women have made great strides in business ownership, with the number of women-owned businesses in the U.S. growing from 400,000 in 1972 to 13 million and counting today. That’s great, but it doesn’t mean the work is over. Less than 40 years ago, women needed a male relative to cosign on a business loan.
Celebrating October’s National Women’s Small Business Month is a great way to support women in business.
“It’s crazy-busy and challenging when you’re running a small business, but this is a great month for women who run small businesses to seek out support and offer some of their own,” says Matt Schulz, LendingTree chief credit analyst.
Here are a few ideas to help you celebrate women-owned businesses this October.
4 ways to celebrate National Women’s Small Business Month
1. If you can spend money: Shop women-owned small businesses
The most direct way to support any small business is to buy its products, whether getting a gift card to use later or picking up an item or two.
Directories are available if you aren’t aware of any women-owned businesses in your area or want more options. Here are some sites to check out:
- Women and Minority Business
- Women-Owned Business Directory
- Buy From a Black Woman
- We Are Women Owned
2. If you can’t spend money: Spread the word about women-owned businesses
“There are so many things people can do that won’t take much time or cost much money,” Schulz says. “Leave a great review of your favorite women-owned business and tell a handful of friends and relatives about the great experience you had. Share some of their posts on social media. Sign up for their email list and tell others to do the same.”
Social media hashtags can make your posts more likely to be seen. Here are a few options:
- #WOSB (woman-owned small business)
3. If you know a woman who owns a small business: Check in on them
“Running a small business is a hard, hard thing,” Schulz says. “It can be all-consuming and mentally and physically draining, especially during turbulent economic times like these. If you know someone running a small business, check in on them and ask how they’re doing.”
When you run a business, it can feel like everything depends on you keeping things running perfectly, which can take its toll. And unless you’ve run a business, it can be difficult to understand what it takes to keep things going, even as obstacles like sales dips or supply chain issues get in the way. But you don’t have to offer solutions to every issue to provide much-needed support.
“Sometimes just sharing a laugh with a friend you haven’t heard from in a while or just venting to someone for a little bit can be an incredibly welcome break from their frantic lives, even if it’s only for a few minutes,” Schulz says.
4. If you’re a woman who owns a small business: Take advantage of targeted programs
Owning a business is tough, particularly as a woman. But you don’t have to go it alone.
Here are some options to get you started:
- Take advantage of your local Women’s Business Center
- Consider a small business grant
- Use Ascent, a free learning platform from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), to grow your business
- Look into SBA resources for women-owned businesses
Lastly, adding your business to women-owned business directories can help you get discovered by new customers looking to support ones like yours. Some directories may charge a fee to be included, but free options are available.