Supporting women-owned businesses in Rochester, NY

Today’s state of female entrepreneurship is on the rise. According to the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), there has been a 60% increase in women-owned businesses from 2007 to 2019. Today, 42% of all businesses are women-owned, and they employ 9.4 million workers and earn $1.9 trillion in revenue. This shows just how important it is to continue supporting female entrepreneurs in their endeavors.

While these numbers are promising, women business owners still face adversity surrounding gender stereotypes. Some of these challenges include the ability to secure funding, overcoming bias with potential customers and employers, and coping with fear of failure. Not to mention that women are still struggling with the challenge of work-life-balance–juggling multiple identities as a mother, caregiver, and homeowner.

These challenges have been particularly exacerbated in the past two years largely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, a disproportionate amount of businesses that are women-owned have been set back in the face of coronavirus–and they’re closing at higher rates than businesses owned by men.

More female than male entrepreneurs reported that homeschooling, child care, and domestic responsibilities have impaired their ability to focus on work as a result of the nation-wide shutdowns. Female-dominated industries such as food services, home care, and hair and nail salons have all suffered considerable losses in the face of the pandemic. 

What’s more, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reported in a 2020 survey that female small business owners were less likely to expect success in 2021 than their male counterparts. The survey also shows that female entrepreneurs expected the health of their overall business to fall at a greater rate during 2021 than did male business owners. 

Now more than ever, the importance of supporting women-owned businesses has become paramount. 

How You Can Help

Below are a few ways in which you, as a member of Rochester’s burgeoning community, can help support local, female entrepreneurs:

Shop for-women, by-women products

While this may seem like the most obvious way to uplift local women-owned businesses, it’s also one of the best ways to help support them. In today’s world of having virtually limitless choices quite literally at your fingertips, choose women-owned products! Need some inspiration? Check out the Women-Owned Roc business directory which contains a huge amount of locally-owned women-run businesses.

Recommend to a friend

Word of mouth is one of the most powerful (and free) marketing tools available. You can also post on social media, write a Google review, and let your family and friends know about the women-owned businesses that inspire you.

Donate and Invest

Receiving sufficient investment funds is one of the problems that female entrepreneurs still face today, making it more likely for women to have to self-finance their companies. Whether it’s investing through buying stock from a publicly-traded, women-owned business, or donating to an organization that helps support female entrepreneurs globally, any little bit counts!

Women have made leaps and bounds surrounding business and entrepreneurial ventures in the last decade, contributing to and enriching communities in their surrounding areas. Supporting women’s economic empowerment has become paramount as the challenges they face have been compounded by the pandemic. The Women-Owned Roc business directory is a great place to start when supporting your community through supporting female entrepreneurs.

About the Author

Lauren Bocka is a registered nurse and freelance writer who specializes in food, travel, health, and wellness. She lives in Rochester, NY, and spends an inordinate amount of time searching for the best slice of pizza in the city and sifting through vintage clothing at local thrift stores and flea markets. Being an RN for nearly four years, Lauren also has a wide breadth of knowledge in the medical field, and strives to incorporate holistic health into her daily life.

When she’s not writing content, she enjoys buying cosmetically-challenged vegetables from the local farmer’s market and scouring animal shelters for her perfect pup.

You can find her website here, as well as her LinkedIn profile and Instagram account.