International Women's Day is celebrated on the 8th of march every year. On this day, we celebrate the remarkable achievements of women in India and around the world. It is a time to recognize the immense contributions made by women-owned businesses and show our support for their continued success. Did you know that India has over 8 million women entrepreneurs who contribute over 10% of the country's GDP?
Here are some ways you can support women-owned businesses, not just today but throughout the year:
Shop at Women-Owned Businesses
One of the easiest ways to support women-owned businesses is shopping at them. From handmade crafts to organic foods, there are plenty of female-owned businesses in India. Please make an effort to find them in your community and show your support by spending your money there. Not only will you be helping women entrepreneurs, but you will also be supporting the local economy.
"Explore local, women-owned businesses and make them your go-to," says Sairee Chahal, founder and CEO of Sheroes, a platform that supports women entrepreneurs.
Word of mouth is powerful. When you find something good, let people know. Use your own platform to shed light on women who are inspiring you.
Mentor Female Entrepreneurs
Successful women can pay it forward by sharing their knowledge and expertise with other female entrepreneurs. If your company doesn't have a formal mentor program, consider volunteering for organizations like WEConnect International in India, FICCI FLO or the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women. By sharing your experiences, you can help other women overcome obstacles and succeed in their businesses.
Invite Women to Speak
Invite women to speak if you're organizing an event or hosting a panel discussion. Women are often underrepresented in these settings, even though many qualified women are more than qualified to speak on the topic if given a chance.
Tap into your network of female entrepreneurs or check out organizations like the Indian Women Network or Women in Business (WIB) to give more women opportunities to speak about their businesses and share their knowledge.
Remember the power of encouraging words. Use your voice to uplift and empower other women. Here are a few ideas:
- Leave a positive review for women-owned businesses on Google, Facebook, or another review site.
- Promote women-owned businesses on social media.
- Send an uplifting note to let a female business owner know how much you admire her and appreciate her work. Emails are nice, but handwritten notes are even more special in the digital age.
Women often hesitate to talk about money, but it is an important topic of conversation.
"The first thing you can do for other women is to be financially independent yourself and share what you learn," Chahal says. "Start by initiating conversations about money, whether it's salary, investment, real estate, day rates, passive income, retirement, goals, fair compensation, wealth management, taxes, or ANY other area of your financial picture you want. Keep financial topics at the top of the list because it's important for those who have gone through it to share their experience."
Alippo's Offline Event in Bengaluru
Alippo is an online marketplace that empowers women-owned businesses by providing a platform to showcase and sell their products. In addition to its online presence, Alippo organised an offline event in Bengaluru, India, to support women-owned businesses.
The event, which was held on the 4th of march in honour of International Women's Day, aimed to provide a platform for women entrepreneurs to network, showcase their products and services, and connect with potential customers. The event also featured talks and workshops by successful female entrepreneurs who share their experiences and provide valuable insights into running a successful business.
Alippo's commitment to supporting women-owned businesses is a reflection of the growing recognition of the important role that women entrepreneurs play in driving economic growth and promoting gender equality.
As per the data provided by the National Association of Women Business Owners, women-owned businesses in the U.S. alone generate $1.7 trillion in sales and employ nearly 9 million people. Despite these impressive numbers, women entrepreneurs still face significant challenges, including limited access to funding, networks, and markets.
As consumers, we can also do our part to support women-owned businesses. Whether by shopping at our favourite women-owned businesses or actively seeking out female entrepreneurs in our communities, we can help create a more supportive and inclusive business environment for women.
On this International Women's Day, let's celebrate the achievements of women entrepreneurs and commit to supporting their businesses, not just today but throughout the year. Together, we can help to create a more equitable and prosperous future for all.