As of this year, 4 out of every 10 U.S businesses are owned by women. Impressive and kind of surprising, isn't it?
While we are still far from equal representation in the business world, the trend is progressing in our direction, with more and more women choosing to pursue their passions and start their own companies. We have come a long way baby, but we still have a lot further to go.
Despite this drastic increase, studies have shown that women still have a much harder time securing funding and support for their small businesses - and this is especially true for women of color. Studies show that men are 28% likely to raise $100,000 in funding to start their small business, while women are only 15% likely to raise the same amount. Business loan approval rates are also 15-20% lower for women than they are for men. Overall, women-owned startups only receive 7% of venture funds for their startups. Not shockingly, these frustrating facts ultimately lead to women feeling less confident in the state of their small business.
In a world where it can sometimes feel like the cards are stacked against us, the importance of fostering a supportive community of women is vitally important. This is one of the primary reasons we've banded together with 8 other women-owned brands to start Etico, a sustainable collective boutique. By forming a collective with other female-led businesses, we're able to lower overall costs that serve as a barrier to entry and create a collaborative business model that empowers all of the women involved.
Remember that every time you make a purchase, you're voting with your dollar. When you support a women-led business, you’re voting with your dollar for a more equal future for badass women everywhere.
Image from: USC Annenberg | "Mam, we cannot give you a business loan unless we get a man to co-sign."