Woman Owned Business WOB:
I recently attended the WE R.O.A.R. Women Entrepreneurs Summit in Reading, PA. W.E. is Women Entrepreneurs and the acronym ROAR is defined as, Relationships, Opportunities, Assistance and Resources. The evenings opening remarks were made by Sentaor, Judy Schwank. She really got the crowd fired up! She spoke about the Small Business Administration (SBA) and gave some interesting statistics.
According to an American Express report, there are 9.1 Million WOB in the USA and these businesses are responsible for over 1.4 trillion dollars in revenue. These WOB‘s employ 7.9 million people. Those are staggering numbers.
The Key Note speaker at the summit was a Erin Andrews from the SBA. As director of the SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership, she manages a nationwide network of women’s business centers that provide training, counseling and mentoring to hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs in every state and two U.S. territories. She is a dynamic speaker and had many years of experience working with small businesses.
She is also speaking at the TNNA retailers luncheon.
Erin also mentioned the 3 “C’s” Character, Courage and Commitment that are needed to be successful at building a WOB. I would like to make it the 4 “C’s” and add Creativity to the list. She also suggested the Mentor program offered by The SCORE Association. At SCORE, you will find “Counselors to America’s Small Business”. SCORE members are trained to serve as counselors, advisors and mentors to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners. These services are offered at no fee, as a community service. Happy to help WOB too!
This is a program that I found very useful. I would meet bi-weekly with my mentor and mentors. We discussed all parts of my start up business. From Business Plan, Financial Strategies and Products as well as customer relationship/retention building. The mentors I worked with were from much different businesses, Food Sales/Service, Furniture, Education and others. It was very helpful to hear an outsiders view on the yarn business. I will forever be greatful to my mentors and plan to donate some of my time back to SCORE. Of course, this can only happen after my WOB is established and running smoothly.
Erin stated that women investors are associated with fewer losses of net returns. In addition she suggested that policy and legislation needs to be changed. Presently the goal was to use 5% of federal spending toward a Women Owned Business. We need to increase this number. How can we make an impact? Educate yourself. Use the resources that are available. Find ways to make your shop unique and add value to your community.
Another great resource for a WOB, is the WBENC, The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, the largest third-party certifier of businesses owned, controlled, and operated by women in the United States. Take a look at their website to learn more about this council!
Here is a MUST click link to 10 resources for top women leaders.
I have a long list of books to recommend, but that will come in a future blog.
Here is a link to 15 Noteworthy Podcasts by Creative Women Entrepreneurs.
It doesn’t matter if you have your own business, or your a woman, or your a WOB, the information provided in this blog and in the resources provided here is intended to inspire you.
In closing, I will leave you, not with a famous quote, but with a definition from Merriam Webster, POWER, a (1) ability to act or produce an effect (2) ability to get extra-base hits (3) capacity for being acted upon or undergoing an effect
We all strive to have some type of “power” in our lives, we should use our power to product positive effects.
Take the power that you have, embrace it and use it to positively impact yourself and build longevity.