- In the world of business, women can have incredible ideas, keen insight, and powerful drive, but without financing, it is virtually impossible to launch a company.
- Make a concerted effort to be approachable and transparent. If you follow the latter path, you can empower women in your industry as a mentor.
- At the end of the day, the most impactful thing you can do for another female entrepreneur is to ask how you can best help them.
by Fulya Uygun
In 2019, there were approximately 13 million women-owned businesses in the United States. Those companies employed almost 9.4 million Americans and earned $1.9 trillion in revenues.
However, the number of women-owned businesses dropped 25 percent during the early months of the pandemic. It is more important than ever to support women entrepreneurs, and some of the most valuable things you can offer are your influence, knowledge, and network.
Offering Your Influence
Those in positions of power are best suited to help level the playing field. In the world of business, women can have incredible ideas, keen insight, and powerful drive, but without financing, it is virtually impossible to launch a company. While CEOs and business leaders can give women entrepreneurs a helping hand in a number of important ways, funding is by far the most vital. By channeling a portion of your investments to new female founders, you can help reverse the impact COVID-19 had on women-run companies.
As a leader in the business sector, you can also use your position to amplify the voices of the women around you. There is a lot of noise in the world, and often we only hear the loudest individuals. As someone who has the power to make yourself heard, speak up for women. If you witness examples of inequality, make them known.
One powerful way to benefit up-and-coming female entrepreneurs is by sharing your insight and experience. The stories of your successes and mistakes are equally valuable gifts for young businesswomen.
Many entrepreneurs who reach a certain level in business keep their past experiences and trade secrets close to the vest. On the other hand, others make a concerted effort to be approachable and transparent. If you follow the latter path, you can empower women in your industry as a mentor.
We often need someone to glimpse the potential that is buried inside us before we spot it ourselves. As a mentor to a younger female entrepreneur, you can boost her confidence, show her the possibilities she can achieve, and give her a path to follow. While mentoring a female entrepreneur will not cost you a thing, it may prove invaluable to those you support. No one can truly know the ideas you will inspire or the opportunities you will spark.
Sharing Your Network
Companies are built largely around contacts. As an entrepreneur, your network is composed of those who have helped you find your vision, shape your ideas, and find resources. Because this network is primarily built on relationships formed outside work, women can be at a disadvantage.
Person to Person
Offering introductions can be some of the most powerful means of supporting others. If you see an up-and-coming female entrepreneur, make an impactful introduction relevant to her career trajectory. Just one connection can prove to be life-changing.
Social media is another avenue for sharing your network with fellow female entrepreneurs. When another woman’s hard work or creative idea catches your eye, acknowledge it. Share her success by posting on LinkedIn, sending a message via Twitter, or giving a shout-out on Instagram.
If you notice intriguing products and services from female entrepreneurs, make sure to spread the news. Type out a thoughtful review of a product you love and post it to the company’s website, or blog about another woman’s product on your own page. It is the words of real-life consumers that sell products today, and while these referrals only take seconds to pass along, they have a substantial impact on entrepreneurs and their startups.
At the end of the day, the most impactful thing you can do for another female entrepreneur is to ask how you can best help them. You might provide an idea, introduction, or resource that another woman needs. Supporting each other is the only sure path to overcoming the disadvantages and uphill climbs we all face.
Bowery Boost co-founder and CEO Fulya Uygun is a digital marketing expert with 15 years of experience. Throughout her career, she has scaled brands through seed funding to Series B in addition to working as lead digital for corporate companies. Her agency works seamlessly to build teams and profitably scale direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands and is dedicated to investing in and supporting women and minority entrepreneurs.