This article was updated on March 7, 2023.
If there’s one way women are making history today, it’s by starting their own businesses to build a future for themselves and their families. And their influence is growing every year.
In 2022, 1,821 new women-owned businesses launched every day in the U.S., according to Zippia, and the total number of women-owned businesses have increased by 114% in the past 20 years.
Top industries for women-owned businesses include health, beauty and fitness; business services; food and restaurants and retail.
Women-owned businesses generate an average of $1.8 trillion per year.—Zippia
Resources for Women-Owned Businesses
In honor of Women’s History Month, we’ve gathered a list of some fantastic resources geared to helping women pursue their passion and build their empires.
The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
WBENC is a well-connected group that does the important work of certifying that businesses are, indeed, 51% or more owned by women.
This third-party validation is critical for business owners who need doors opened to the benefits designed specifically for women-owned businesses.
This non-profit also provides the businesses visibility in corporate and government supply chains, as well as educational and developmental programs, such as the SBA’s Federal Contracting Program.
Talk about a leg up!
In addition to this critical certification, WBENC also provides education and resources, access to mentoring, pitch opportunities, executive education, scholarships, grants and annual awards.
In 2017, Carolyn Rodz, a former investment banker at JP Morgan, along with Elizabeth Gore, former entrepreneur in residence at Dell Technologies, co-founded Hello Alice to help burgeoning businesses get off the ground.
Hello Alice uses machine learning to identify personalized opportunities and communities for business owners. They are particularly devoted to the “New Majority,” which includes people of color, women, immigrants, LGBTQ+, veterans and people with disabilities. The vision for this Alice in Wonderland-inspired organization is “equal access” to technology and opportunities.
Hello Alice offers free tools and resources, education, networking and access to grants and funding. The Houston, Texas-based team also offers exposure to celebrities and leading brands — all in an effort to help entrepreneurs succeed.
“I see this as our greatest economic investment as a country,” Gore says on the organization’s website. “If we can ensure equal access to capital and networks to women, people of color and U.S. veterans, we will have a very different country very soon.”
Create and Cultivate
This powerhouse media and networking organization provides high-octane energy and glamorous headliners for its coast-to-coast conferences. Create and Cultivate‘s goal is to help women build their business dreams. They make it fun by hosting swanky events with the most Insta-worthy moments.
C+C delivers with workshops, mentoring sessions and events featuring high-profile speakers. Jessica Alba, Chrissy Teigen and Meghan Markle, to name a few. It also provides tons of guidance on everything from fundraising to business strategy to marketing tips.
Serial entrepreneur Jaclyn Johnson started C+C in 2012 to increase the conversation around women-owned businesses while empowering their entrepreneurial spirit.
“Early on, I recognized not only a gap in funding, but in resources and community support for female entrepreneurs,” Johnson told Forbes. “That’s what led to the launch of Create and Cultivate; I wanted to give women the space to have those conversations and a forum to learn from one another’s successes and setbacks.”
DreamBuilder is a passion project for the Phoenix, Ariz.-based Freeport-McMoRan natural resource company. The service is geared toward providing free learning opportunities for women interested in business ownership and management.
The initial 30-hour program covers a variety of business-knowledge topics in 13 courses, such as marketing, pricing, accounting, risk management and others.
It’s all about the dream, with a dedicated “Financing Your Dream” course that concludes with a Capital Action Plan to make it all a reality.
Our Fave Podcasts
So many podcasts, so little time! Here are a few of our favorite fierce female voices we turn to during our daily spin on the treadmill:
- The Maria Forleo Podcast: If you loved her book, Everything Is Figureoutable, you will be glued to her high-energy podcast. Forleo offers tactical ways to pursue your dream so that it will be successful for you and your life.
- Women Taking the Lead: Jodi Flynn covers leadership tips and tricks for just about anything that can trip you up. We love the focus on building confidence while working with integrity — and the practical how-to tips.
- So Money: Farnoosh Torabi actually makes talking about money, investing and taxes fun. She covers super timely topics with superstar guests, such as Queen Latifah, Barbara Corcoran and Tim Gunn.
SBA: Office of Women’s Business Ownership
The U.S. Small Business Administration has dedicated resources to women-owned businesses who would benefit from advocacy, education and other resources.
As an extension of the office, the SBA created the Women’s Business Center Program in 1988. The WBC has established chapters in nearly every state in the U.S. In doing so, the local chapters provide community-based training and access to the SBA’s funding assistance programs.
The SBA provides many free educational events every month. Topics include accessing capital for your business, mentoring and setting up your business.
Do you know an amazing woman in business? We’d love to hear her story. Drop a line in the comments below, or email us. If you run a service-based business, and want more time back in your day, check out our Guide to Running an Efficient Small Business.