March is Women’s History Month, a moment to celebrate the contributions of women in society, business, science and more. Long before Women’s History Month became a federally recognized holiday in 1981, women have had a massive impact on the economy and in their local communities as entrepreneurs and business owners.
Today, American Express estimates that 42% of businesses in the US are women-owned. In addition, 50% of all women-owned businesses are minority-owned. “With more than double the annual growth rate of all other businesses, female founders are steadily breaking down barriers to start and run successful companies,” wrote The Blueprint.
Each day, 1,817 new women-owned businesses are launched. If you count yourself among those women seeking to start a new venture or are looking for ways to support other women in their business journey, these resources can help.
Looking for government funding? A good place to start is the Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO) helps women entrepreneurs find business training, counseling, federal contracts, and access to credit and capital through local SBA district offices.
The OWBO operates specific Women’s Business Centers (WBCs). These centers offer mentoring, networking, and other resources to help female entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground. “Businesses receiving assistance from WBCs see a significantly better success rate than those without similar support,” reports the SBA.
Government funding for female entrepreneurs can be found through these resources:
Private organizations often provide grants and use contests to offer funding to women-owned ventures and small businesses. Here are a few options to consider.
Since the pandemic, there’s been a decrease in the amount of venture capital funding allocated to women-led start-ups. In 2019, 2.8% of funding went to women-led startups; in 2020, that percentage fell to just 2.3%. Sadly, 2019 was an all-time high.
VC funding is competitive and hard to find for female entrepreneurs for many reasons. Nevertheless, there are some venture capital funds that are continuing to prioritize spending on women-led ventures. Here are a few places to try.
We’ve covered tons of resources for women starting a business. But, if you’re further along in your journey, finding funding may not be your first priority. There are plenty of other resources for business owners at later stages of growth.
There are tons of ways to support women-owned businesses. The most obvious being by shopping for their goods and services. Beyond patronizing women-backed ventures, customers can show their support by leaving positive reviews online, sharing content on social media, and spreading the word as much as possible to their friends and family.
At Clover, we offer our Back2Business program to help small business owners–especially women-owned small businesses–get back on their feet and back to business with grants, mentorship, and other support.