(StatePoint) The nearly 13 million small businesses owned by women nationwide are vital to the US economy. Representing 42% of U.S. small businesses, they employ nearly 9.4 million people and generate $ 1.9 trillion in revenue annually.
Healthy and growing women-owned businesses are essential for an inclusive economic recovery, but women entrepreneurs face distinct challenges, including fewer resources and less access to professional networks, in addition to having greater share of care tasks.
“For many small businesses, having access to trusted experts in areas such as marketing, business planning, technology and law can be a turning point in returning to growth,” says Jenny Flores, Manager of Small Business Growth Philanthropy at Wells Fargo. Currently, the company is deploying more than $ 55 million of its Open for Business fund to 93 nonprofits across the country to provide resources to more women and diverse entrepreneurs.
According to Flores, these tips and resources can help entrepreneurs move from survival to prosperity as they recover from the pandemic and look to the future:
Connecting with mentors is a powerful way for women business owners to share best practices and learn from each other, but it is often difficult to know where to find them or initiate these relationships. A new program between Wells Fargo and the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center called Connect to More offers free support to women entrepreneurs through its Milestone Mapping Coaching Circle. Born from the challenges of COVID-19, participants receive hands-on help in setting and achieving business goals from a network of peer mentors and industry experts.
“As a non-profit organization committed to access and equity in entrepreneurship, we are grateful to partner with Wells Fargo to help women business owners accelerate their personal growth and as leaders and to gain support to solve big issues that strengthen their families and communities. Says Nicola Corzine, executive director of the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center.
Networking is more than a buzzword. It can help open doors for growth. Check out the local chamber of commerce or consider joining a well-known organization like the National Association of Women Business Owners.
Knowledge is power. Visit the Wells Fargo Women-owned Business Resources page for free tools to support critical business decisions. Additionally, women entrepreneurs should check out some of these women-specific podcasts to discover new strategies from savvy leaders:
• Being Boss explores mindsets and tactics that can help women business owners make money doing what they love.
• She Leads features respected women leaders from all industries who let listeners know what it takes to reach the top.
• The Center offers a reading list of workshops and courses for women entrepreneurs.
• Women at Work, hosted by the Harvard Business Review Editorial Team, features conversations about the situation of women and how they can move forward.
Having a concrete business plan is essential for running a successful business. During the pandemic, many small businesses have had to create more online offerings, change their relationships with supply chains, or cut hires. Now is the time to consider which of these adaptations can be used in the future.
Running a business is never easy. But new resources and support can help women entrepreneurs overcome the distinct challenges they face and plan for growth as the economy recovers.