A deep dive into how supporting women-owned businesses can grow your Brand.
Diane Colomer Cheadle
Global Director of Business Development at Cargo
Female entrepreneurs have been building business legacies for decades.
Just look at Anne Wojcicki, CEO & Co-Founder of human genome research company 23andMe, which uses science and genetic insights to provide a more complete picture of individual health. Or Jenn Harper, Founder and CEO of Cheekbone Beauty, a cosmetics company that supports indigenous youth through donations to fund educational opportunities. Or even Oprah Winfrey, legendary talk show host and philanthropist who has supported countless ideas, products, and authors with her “Favorite Things.”
These businesswomen and many more are doing what we’ve always been told was possible, but wondered if it was true. They’re changing the world. And by supporting Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs) or Women-Owned Enterprises (WBEs), your Brand can be part of a world-changing, business re-defining mission.
Know Your Support Power
Affirming the ideas and contributions of WOSBs and WBEs goes beyond inspiring a female entrepreneur to keep pressing forward. In fact, your Brand’s financial or social support of women-owned organizations can influence economic empowerment, gender equality, innovation, and much more.
Women-owned businesses contribute significantly to the economy. According to the National Women’s Business Council, there were an estimated 12.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States alone as of 2018, generating $1.8 trillion in revenue and employing over 10.8 million people. So, by showing your support for WOSBs or WBEs, your Brand is contributing to stronger economies and more job opportunities.
Particularly in male-dominated industries, your support can also promote gender equality. WOSBs and WBEs face several barriers, including access to funding, networking opportunities, and mentorship. But women bring unique perspectives and experiences to the table, which can lead to more innovative solutions and a diverse range of products and services. The steadfast support of your Brand can help level the playing field for these organizations, encouraging gender equality, innovation, and diversity that brings new products and ideas to market.
That’s the high-level intro on why supporting women in business is key. But the best way to truly dive into this topic is to hear from the source. So, here are insights from a few of the female leaders Cargo works with every day.
Marketing Director, LG Electronics ESS
I have worked in the energy industry for three years and have been working with residential installers of our Home 8 Energy Storage System since 2020. It’s a male-dominated industry, but there are plenty of women doing amazing things to enhance the future of energy. I think supporting these women in their roles is important because of the unique talents and ideas we bring to the table.
For example, many women are detail-oriented, naturally empathetic people with a knack for bringing a human element to highly technical products, which is extremely helpful when building a customer base and partner relationships.
LG Electronics makes it a priority to employ women across all departments. Our team members hail from all walks of life, and the different perspectives we all bring to the table are essential to the company’s success. It’s a pleasure to work for an organization that recognizes the power of diversity and welcomes new candidates based solely on the quality of their talent, ambition, and ideas.
Channel Marketing Communications Manager, Lenovo North American Channel
I have been working in the channel for over a decade now and one of the most rewarding aspects is the partnerships that Lenovo (and I) build with our channel partners. Our partners choose to work with us and sell our products every day, and it’s our responsibility to foster and nurture those relationships.
Working with women across the channel, both at our partner organizations and internally at Lenovo, is extremely rewarding and has given me the opportunity to learn from some of the brightest women in the technology industry. As a female in a male-dominated industry, it can sometimes be challenging and somewhat isolating. Many of the women I work alongside have been great mentors and taught me how to grow my career and succeed. One of the best pieces of advice received from a female mentor at Lenovo was, “don’t stay where you are most comfortable. You only grow when you are uncomfortable.” Additionally, it has been a gift to work with some of our younger team members who are women to help them prepare and grow.
Whether growing a career, growing the Lenovo business, or growing personally, the most important thing we can do to make a difference is to build and nurture relationships.
Senior VP, Marketing, ClimeCo
Making a difference in women’s lives around the globe is a beautiful co-benefit to many of our environmental commodity projects at ClimeCo. We have been lucky to partner with great organizations to improve the lives of women in Cambodia, Vietnam, Côte d’Ivoire, and Indonesia.
From plastic waste removal to mangrove reforestation, our projects are helping improve our planet and providing women with employment opportunities, health insurance, and job training that would otherwise not exist. Here are a few examples:
At our Côte d’Ivoire plastic waste removal effort, where we partner with The WaY Project. There, a female plastic waste collector has the financial empowerment and stability that allow her to buy shoes, clothes, food, and medicine for her family. Her income can also help to cover rent, water, and electricity during months her husband cannot find work.
At our mangrove reforestation project in Indonesia, we partner with an organization called Yakopi. There we have many local women involved with the project, and this is their first source of income ever.
Build Partnerships to Grow Your Brand
At the end of the day, supporting women-owned businesses benefits your Brand and the broader community by promoting gender equality, driving innovation and economic growth, and fostering positive social impact.
Just take it from Jennifer Brown, Keynote Speaker and Best-Selling Author of How to be an Inclusive Leader, who says, “I have been certified as a woman-owned business for nearly 20 years, and we have formed some of the most innovative and lasting partnerships with the companies who value us not only for our expertise, but for the innovation we bring, as well as the positive impact we have as we grow and build opportunity for others.”
When you’re ready to start building these lasting partnerships, remember to:
- Do Your Research: Identify women-owned businesses that align with the values and needs of your Brand. This can involve searching online directories, attending business networking events, or using social media platforms to identify and connect with these businesses.
- Collaborate and Elevate: Join forces with women-owned businesses by incorporating their products or services into your supply chain. You can also collaborate on marketing campaigns or product development. By doing so, your Brand can help to promote and elevate the visibility of women-owned businesses.
- Provide Mentorship and Resources: Your Brand can help women-owned businesses grow and scale by providing mentorship and resources such as workshops, training programs, or coaching services. You can also take the provision one step further by offering your partners discounts, access to funding or grants, or opportunities to showcase their products or services at events or trade shows.
Connect with Cargo
Ready to put these steps in to practice and partner with some stellar women-owned businesses? The B2SB Marketing® experts at Cargo can help you develop a strategy and craft the compelling creative to reach these organizations. Connect with us today and let’s change the world.