Each October is our favorite excuse to spend even more time than usual focusing on all things women in business, for the month of National Women's Small Business month.
To us, Women's Small Business Month means far more than just a one month celebration or a social media trend - it's simply who we are and what we believe in supporting, year-round.
And our deepest hope? That someday, female small business owners will be such the norm and so commonplace that we don't need to have a special month dedicated to awareness. After all, our male counterparts don't need a month dedicated to their business ventures. We look forward to that day.
But as we work toward building that future we dream of, here are some fast facts about women in business you need to know:
- Shockingly, only 2% of all venture capital is given to women founders
- Women started 49% of new businesses in the US in 2021
- Women own nearly 13 million businesses in the U.S (or 42% of all companies in the country)
- Women-owned businesses are generating around $1.8 trillion annually
- Men are 3.5 times more likely than female founders to hit $1 million in earnings
- As recently as the 1970s, women were unable to get a credit card or take out a business loan without a male co-signer!
We have a long way to go, but also celebrate just how far we've come.
What Our Founders Have to Say About Being Women Founders, and What Gives them Hope for The Future
SorBabes co-founders Nicole Cardone and Deborah Gorman shared a bit of what this month and woman-owned business as a whole means to them, and what gives them hope and excitement as they look toward the future.
What are some changes you hope to see in regard to women owned business in the next few years?
Nicole: In all honestly I hope it becomes less of a topic to be discussed because everyone is universally aware and in tune to the unique challenges women face when owning their own businesses - especially if they chose to have a family. With that said, I would love to see more policies supporting working mothers, like letting women owned businesses expense child care to the business!
Deborah: It's pretty shocking how low the percentage is of venture capital going to women - only 2% Clearly there's still some serious inequity but then when you realize back in the 70s we wouldn't have even been able to start a business or get a loan without a man's help, that's incredible. We have come a long way in a generation but we probably need another generation to make the changes we still need to see.
After a decade as women owners, what makes you feel positive about the future of business?
Deborah: Things have changed so much! I remember back when we started and we both had little babies and I'd be in the airport with them trying to find a place to nurse. I would have to pump right next to where everyone had their laptops plugged in because there was nowhere for nursing mothers. Now everywhere has places for us. That's just one example of how much things have changed.
Nicole: When we started “women owned business” wasn’t even a thing, now it’s a huge topic and just that awareness alone is major progress worth celebrating!
What gives you the most joy about being a female founder?
Nicole: I love that all my hard work goes directly into what I own. So many women are such hard workers and often don’t get the full credit for their tireless efforts focused on both raising a family and holding down a professional career. I love seeing this female community uplift one another and say, yeah it may be hard as hell but look at what we can accomplish!
Deborah: This is our baby; we've talked in the past about selling the business when things get tough but we knew we'd just started another brand and probably another ice cream because that's what we love! We're just getting started. We're looking forward to launching a larger parent company, Fruitful Brands, and new brands underneath that. The most exciting part of all this for me is just the constant learning and growth.
What's a piece of advice you have for an aspiring or new female founder?
Deborah: Nos aren't always a bad thing - we've learned how much persistence is required. Rejection always hurts but it's part of the game. Your business is like an extension of yourself so the wins feel so good and the lows feel like a dagger, but we've over the years learned to not get as emotionally invested in every up and down.
Nicole: Be confident. You will encounter so many people who approach you with confidence and you'll trust them because they seem like they must know what they are doing. But in truth, everyone is just on a spectrum of understanding how to run and grow a business. Trust in yourself and what you know and be honest with yourself on your weaknesses too. Seek the support you need to help in those areas.
Happy National Women's Small Business Month! Here's to the next chapter. If you ever have any questions about starting your own business, we're passionate about sharing everything we can. Send Nicole and Deborah and email at email@example.com any time!