When two men in business always agree, one of them is unnecessary. – Ezra Pound
As of just a few decades ago, it was hard to find women in any prominent positions. Even if they did take up such positions, the road to success would be quite long and difficult.
However, in the 21st century and with rising awareness, more and more women along with other minorities are chasing their dreams and making them a reality. This includes entrepreneurship. Many women are now starting to get into business with ventures in all kinds of industries catering to numerous niches.
However, they are still not able to garner the same level of success as some of their male counterparts. So, here are a few ways such individuals can leverage their women business enterprises.
Importance of Leveraging Women Business Enterprises
Despite the rapidly increasing number of women-owned business, such groups are still a minority in the wider business circles. That’s why it is so important for women to focus on leveraging their businesses.
It allows them to secure better contracts within the private sector as well as the public sector. Many large corporations, as well as government-controlled organizations, are obligated or have set their own goals to dedicate some percentage of their business to supporting minority-owned businesses.
This means they must buy some products and services that come from women-owned business, small businesses, LGBTQ-owned businesses, and so on. Without leveraging their women business enterprises, such groups miss out on these key contracts that can help them establish their position in the market and grow their venture.
Diversity and Innovation
Women-owned business bring some much-needed diversity in the business environment, which fosters creativity, innovation and helps recruit top talent. Women entrepreneurs bring new perspectives and promote constructive discussions that can help the entire industry.
Encouraging Corporate Culture
They also help in creating a more positive corporate culture, especially for women. When female employees see fellow women in high positions, they are shown to have more motivation and productivity.
Often, in male-dominated companies, women find the corporate culture inhibiting their growth and learning and stifling their creativity. This results in a poor corporate culture. However, with more companies leveraging their women business enterprises, this is changing.
Women also tend to have a more collaborative approach. These days where the market is all about cutthroat competition, collaborative efforts by women business enterprises can be like a breath of fresh air. Research shows that girls are better at working together than boys.
This is often directly translated into multiple women-owned business coming together to solve problems and collaborate on different fronts. This creates a much healthier and growth-inducing environment for all businesses involved instead of just one business progressing at the expense of others.
Most importantly, women simply make great leaders. They are able to expertly balance the necessary soft traits and hard traits to fulfill their leadership positions, which is what most employees want in their leaders. It doesn’t hurt that women tend to have great emotional intelligence as well.
Because of all these reasons, we are constantly witnessing many new women-owned business springing up. In the U.S. alone, more than one-third of privately held firms are owned by women, and they contribute around 8% to employment in the sector, according to the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO).
Women-owned business bring some much-needed diversity in the business environment, which fosters creativity, innovation and helps recruit top talent.
Key Resources for Women-Owned Businesses
Government institutions and private companies alike now realize the importance of women-run businesses. As a result, unlike before, women-owned businesses today have many tools and resources available at their disposal to help leverage their business. These include the following:
Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
Founded in 1997, WBENC is the largest and most widely recognized for women business enterprises in the U.S. The organization is a great advocate for female entrepreneurs and offers them many benefits and resources.
Their certification is accepted by more than 1000 corporations all across the U.S., which includes many of the country’s finest brands as well as government organizations. Along with the certification, they offer different programs that can help women grow their businesses.
They also support businesses through networking opportunities, scholarships, and educational resources. Their services can help see businesses through the whole cycle, from inception to success.
National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO)
Established in 1975, NAWBO is one of the very first groups with the mission of advocating for women-owned business. Their main goal is to help enhance the wealth-creating capacity of such businesses by providing them support and various resources and, as a result, promote more economic development in the business community.
The organization is heavily involved in forming key alliances, coalitions and building strategic affiliations. It directly targets opinion makers and public policies to help bring about real change for female entrepreneurs. It helps women run businesses in all kinds of industries and is present all over the country in the form of small chapters.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA is a federal agency that helps small business owners and new entrepreneurs flourish and succeed at their entrepreneurial dreams. Their help extends to women-owned small businesses as well. In particular, they have established Women’s Business Centers (WBC) for this exact purpose.
The agency has more than 250 WBCs in many states to help women with anything they need to improve the success chances of their business. They offer various resources as well as counselling on any and every topic related to entrepreneurship. These centers are a huge assistance for economically and socially disadvantaged women attempting to run businesses for the first time.
This is another non-profit organization that has been working to help small businesses for the better part of a century. It is a resource partner of SBA and supports women-owned business in several ways.
They partner entrepreneurs with experienced mentors who can then help and guide them in taking their ventures off the ground and expanding it further. These mentors are available in person as well as remotely through phone and email.
Besides that, SCORE offers webinars, courses, and an entire library of online resources to help women brush up on their business concepts. They also hold local events where businesses can establish important connections and network.
How to Get Certified?
The next question you may have is how does one get certified to be able to leverage their women business enterprises. The process is fairly simple. First, you must make sure that you fall under the category of women business enterprises.
This means that your business should be owned and controlled at least 51% by a woman or group of women. These owners should be U.S. citizens, be actively involved in the daily running and management of the business, and should have been in the position for at least six months.
If you meet all these requirements, you will have to present the relevant documents for it, and then your certification process should start. Depending on the organization, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to months. Moreover, you might have to renew the certification periodically to keep reaping the benefits.
Other Ways to Leverage Women Business Enterprises
A certification will be a big help in building connections, securing strategic contracts, and boosting your business. However, you don’t need to stop there. Here are some other ways to leverage women business enterprises.
Make sure you advertise your certification in all your marketing efforts. Add it to all client-facing materials.
Contact supplier diversity directors, including those of past clients as well as potential future prospects.
Attend online webinars hosted by corporations mentioned above and others for market insights and strategies, especially when there’s a big shift happening in the market.
Sponsor at other conferences where you will not only gain visibility in front of potential clients but potential partners as well.
Submit your business information to big corporations to include it in their supplier diversity databases.
As mentioned earlier, women offer a lot of benefits to businesses, and therefore, it is that much more important to leverage women business enterprises. If you are struggling to meet your own business goals, consider bringing on more women on board for new ideas and different strategies. Once you have a more inclusive board of directors, you can then continue to attract more women in your workforce as well.
If you find yourself struggling with either of these things, don’t hesitate and reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org right away. We’ll get back to you shortly!
WinMax Blog Team
Founded in 2005, WinMax is an IT recruiting firm that specializes in connecting the best talents from the tech world to the right organization. As technology recruiters, we can help you find the right IT personnel possessing the skills, expertise, and values that reflect your organizational needs and goals.