As the United States emerges from the pandemic, women are poised to start, lead, and succeed at business as never before. And while the past two years have displaced women from the workplace in record numbers, they have also opened the door to entrepreneurship as a viable option for economic security and independence for female founders.
Women-owned businesses: Leading in growth
The 2019 State of Women-Owned Business Report, commissioned by American Express, reported that:
- There were 11.6 million women-owned business in America that generated $1.7 trillion and employed 9.4 million people in 2019.
- 1,817 businesses on average were launched each day, with an annual growth rate double that of all businesses.
- Women of color account for half of all women-owned businesses, and the numbers of new minority-owned businesses outpace their non-minority counterparts
It is clear that the state of women’s entrepreneurship is strong and we’re ready to take the lead in numbers, growth and employing labor. And, we are ready to take our place in the American economy!
We’re not “returning to normal”
While the pandemic changed all of our lives, it also gave us time to think about how we want to organize and prioritize our work. At TheWMarketplace, an e-commerce platform that empowers women entrepreneurs to grow and thrive while providing a destination for consumers to shop their values, we hear stories every day from women who used the past two years to plan, launch and improve their businesses. These women are not reverting to pre-pandemic practices. They are evolving with the modern economy and their own changing priorities.
Many women who launched businesses during the pandemic were either laid-off or left jobs to attend to family. Naoko Tsunoda of Key to Teas had wanted to open her own tea café since she was twelve and had positioned herself in the food and beverage industry to learn the ropes.
“When I was laid off in early 2020 due to corporate strategic changes, I took it as an opportunity to open my own online tea-ecommerce business” says Tsumoda.
Two years later, Tsunoda’s tea business is growing and thriving as a result of her passion for her new pursuit.
For other businesses, the pandemic was a time to reassess and pivot to new sales channels. When COVID-19 hit, Elizabeth Lopez was just back from a trade show where she intended to target large retailers for the first time for her organic skin care line, rue Santé.
“A month later, Covid shut down ninety percent of our retailers, so we scrambled our focus back to direct to consumers. It's been a dizzying dance” says Lopez.
Overnight, global consumers were shopping online, and her ability to be flexible and pivot enabled her to take advantage of new sales channels like TheWMarketplace to not only keep her business going, but to thrive amidst the pandemic.
Women are owning the opportunity
At TheWMarketplace, we see great enthusiasm and business savvy from our female entrepreneurs. We launched our company during the pandemic and have grown from 80 sellers in 2020 to 500+ today, have customers in 35 states, and partnerships with a dozen private companies, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. We know first-hand that this post-pandemic world presents tremendous opportunities for female-led companies. Our sellers are poised to become the new engine for the American economy, just like TheWMarketplace is the Economic Engine for Women. We can’t wait to see our sellers succeed in this post-pandemic world!
Huge thanks to TheWMarketplace for sharing their wealth of insight and support for female entrepreneurship around the country. At Saltbox, we are honored to serve a diverse member base, 60% of whom are female-owned and led businesses across a wide range of industries. By making logistics infrastructure accessible and approachable for all, we are powering the next generation of entrepreneurs - and that generation includes previously under-served and under-represented populations that are hungry to grow. If you are interested in exploring how Saltbox can help your business, contact us today. We are here to help!