With International Women’s Day upon us, it’s a great time to uplift women in small business. In fact, there are more female-led companies than ever. 

A study from The Rose Review found an annual 37% growth rate for female entrepreneurs in the UK, with about 145,200 women-led businesses in 2021. 

With that said, women still face unequal challenges. They often experience bias, fewer opportunities for funding and growth, and increased childcare responsibilities

As a small business owner, you can use your platforms to grow opportunities for women in business. We’ll cover how.

This guide lists ideas for supporting women in business, including:

  • Listen to and learn about women
  • Invest in women-owned business 
  • Partner with female entrepreneurs 
  • Promote women’s businesses  
  • Hold a female-focused event or offer
  • Use your platform to lift them up 

How to start supporting women in business

Though women-led companies are growing rapidly, they still face challenges that lessen their likelihood of success. If you run a small business or are a female entrepreneur yourself, you can use your platform to help

Research suggests that women typically spend twice as much time caring for their families or loved ones. On top of this, female-led businesses were 62% less likely to bounce back from the COVID pandemic.

By supporting women in business, your effort can help them thrive.  

Listen to and learn about women

It’s far easier to help someone if you understand them. So, if you’re not a female entrepreneur yourself, consider taking time to learn about their situation. For example, you might read:

Listening to women is also a great way to understand their perspectives and challenges. You might network with female entrepreneurs to get to know them better. Alternatively, you could listen to podcasts or TedTalks by women

Invest in women-owned businesses 

Investing in women also helps to uplift them in business. 

When finding suppliers, consider searching for companies run or owned by women. Prioritising this value concerning business spending can help grow female companies.

For example, if you have a coffee shop, you might purchase your coffee from Girls Who Grind Coffee. Not only would this support a female business financially, but you could also leave their logo in your shop for others to see

To go a step further, you could choose to invest in others with your business’s excess cash. If so, consider offering loans to female-run small businesses

Partner with female entrepreneurs 

Another way to assist female entrepreneurs is through partnering with them. 

You could reach out to small businesses run by women and offer to sell their goods in your shop. Similarly, consider working with these companies to develop joint products or services

For example, if you run a boutique, you may reach out to Shoreham Pottery to stock their products. Diversifying these goods can grow sales and help increase revenue for the business. 

On the other hand, you might hire a female painter to create a mural in your shop or a graphic designer to spruce up your website. 

Promote women’s businesses 

You could also turn to your marketing platform to promote female businesses and give them a voice. Consider forming valuable relationships and reposting these companies’ content on your social media channels

If you’re a female business owner, post about your own story. Sharing your journey can boost the confidence of other people who want to take the leap. 

In addition, post about your favourite products or services from women-led companies. For example, you might post about a female candlemaker whose products you use in your office. Share some stories or even interview a female-run business. 

Additionally, you could post your favourite quote about female empowerment. Or you could create a list of women-led businesses your target audience might enjoy. 

Tip: tag these posts with #InternationalWomensDay. 

Hold an event or offer in their honour

Events and deals often drive buzz around a business. So why not use one to uplift women? 

You might host a networking event, conference, or meet and greet for this audience. Or you could offer a 20% discount on your products or services in honour of the day.   

Alternatively, think about running a competition for women on your social media channels to show your support. The winner could earn a gift card or free service from your business. 

Use your platform to lift them up 

To raise awareness for women in business, you can also share knowledge and statistics. If you inform your audience about the challenges women face, people may be more likely to act

Consider decorating your shop for the day, creating an art instalment, or altering your social media pages in their honour. You could also donate to a charity that supports female growth, like Girls Out Loud

Every public show of support and help earns this audience recognition and opportunities for success.  

Helping female business owners towards the future 

There have been significant developments for female entrepreneurs in recent years. But continuously supporting female-led companies can progress forward momentum.

In summary, you can help out women by: 

  • Taking the time to listen and understand 
  • Using your business to support them financially 
  • Partnering with female companies 
  • Promoting them on your platform 
  • Hosting an event or discount just for them
  • Publicly showing your support to inform others 

Doing so will also help close the gap between women and the rest of the small business world. 

These actions and core values aren’t just important for International Women’s Day, but every day of the year. Today is a great time to start.