Why Supporting Female Owned Small Business Is Crucial
Article was written by BFR's founder Leslie Munsell
Recently, I was really fortunate to meet and spend an evening with a great group of successful female entrepreneurs. We talked about business, (of course, we had to go there!) family and friendship. We enjoyed our time together with a delicious dinner at a gorgeous restaurant in downtown Miami called Quinto. There’s something about being an entrepreneur that allows you to fiercely connect to another entrepreneur in minutes- it’s a defining part of who you are. I immediately want to support each of them and their small businesses. Their businesses ranged from lingerie, children’s products, banking, social media management and of course, beauty!
This got me thinking about the importance of supporting female owned small business, both brick and mortar stores and e-commerce sites. Over 80 percent of purchases and purchase influence are made by women, yet there is a gender gap between women and the leadership of companies that manufacture, market and sell to them. Although women drive the majority of consumer spending through their buying power and influence, they represent only 6% of the CEOs of S&P 500 companies.
Female owned businesses often struggle with past historical challenges such as access to bank funding, generational wealth, sexism, discrimination, and others. Spending some of your income at a small female owned business will help fight systemic sexism and it can help make a difference in income inequality, putting pressure on those mostly white male CEOs who make tens of millions of dollars.
The most direct way to vote or drive change is with your dollars and where you spend your money. You can exercise that form of democracy every single day. Every time you shop for groceries, pick out makeup or a new outfit, purchase something online or grab a cup of coffee, you can make the impactful choice to shop at a female owned small businesses.
Here’s something else to think about- As we’ve turned more to shopping online, the U.S. e-commerce marketplace is an $800 billion dollar industry. Most of that money—over 70% of it—goes directly into the pockets of 15 mega-retailers. SEO, cookies, and search algorithms push your purchases to a big box retailer. This leaves small businesses, local retailers, and boutique brands on page 10 of your online search results.
Amazon has increased the fees it charges independent sellers up to 34 cents of every dollar spent. Nearly everyone now buys on Amazon and as an independent small business, to be seen, you must be on Amazon, even if you lose money. And as a consumer, you are left to buy from the big guys or spend hours looking for what you need from a well deserving but hidden-pages-back small business.
I recently came across Goodbuy as a great alternative. It’s a handy app you register for and then choose your preferences (cruelty free, sustainable, women owned, etc). When you google an item and then get on one of the big guy sites, your Goodbuy icon will pop up with recommendations of the same product or type of product directly from a small business, saving you lots of time and potentially money. It’s a win-win! Check it out at the following link!
Supporting small business is important for all of us as small businesses create two-thirds of new jobs and deliver 43.5 percent of the United States' gross domestic product (GDP) In addition to keeping the economy running, small businesses also lead the way in innovation. Small businesses produce 16 times more new patents per employee than large patenting firms do.
Remember- where you spend your money means something. Each time you purchase your favorite Beauty For Real products, your Skin Revival, your MVP, your Hi-Def Mascara or favorite Gloss + Shine, you’re spending your dollars wisely by supporting a female owned small business. We always appreciate it.