March is Women’s History Month and we are celebrating by featuring our favorite women entrepreneurs throughout the month. Stop by each week and learn a more about the women behind the businesses.
Check out these interesting facts on women in business.
- Women entrepreneurs needed a man to co-sign their business loan up until October 25, 1988 (that wasn’t that long ago!). This all changed because of H.R.5050, signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. This law was the first moment that allowed women to get their own loans and empowered an entire gender to move forward. It also created the National Women's Business Council and Women's Business Centers around the country. Read more about HR.5050 here
- In 1973, Katharine Graham was the only female CEO of a Fortune 500 company, the Washington Post. She was made famous by today's standards when Meryl Streep played her in the movie The Post. Today there are 24 female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. While this is an amazing improvement, we've still got a long way to go. Find and support female owned businesses and learn more about female CEOs.
- 40 is the average age of women starting their own business. While this may seem on the older side (especially when we compare to tech billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg who started Facebook in his dorm room), a lot of research supports waiting to start a business until you have had many years of experience, the chance to build up a savings and have built a circle of trusted peers around you. We love this article for more insight on why it's worth waiting.
- 60% had at least one child when they launched their first business (44% had two or more children). Children can teach us so much about leading and leadership. While the choice isn't right for everyone, so many of us are inspired by the new world children experience every day, and we're motivated to solve problems they face. Plus, being a mom can offer a whole new world of perspective. This incredible post from the Founderof ThirdLove (one of our favorite lingerie brands out there) really hits home for us.
- Sarah Breedlove known as Madam C.J. Walker – was the first woman entrepreneur in history. She created specialized hair products for African-American hair because of a gap in products created for her specific hair type. Realizing this gap, and creating products that met this need, she grew her business to over $500,000 in sales in the final year of her life, employing more than 40,000 black women before her death in 1917. As one of the first self-made female millionaires, she left two thirds of her fortune to charities that were important to her.
- Women now own 38% of all businesses in the U.S, but receive only 16% of business loans. So what can we do about it? Support women owned businesses in your community first by finding out who and where they are. We love an app called Oya, which helps you find women-owned businesses in your community. On a more macro level, you can invest in female brands with investment platforms like Ellevest and All Raise.
What can we do to continue to support our lady tribe?
🛍Support women owned business - partner with and shop women-owned
📢Shout out women owned businesses on social media
✅Vote for elected officials that make equality a priority
🏦Support financial institutions that are work to support women and minority entrepreneurs
💝Donate to organizations that boost female entrepreneurship.
👭Become a female entrepreneur - you can do it!