Supporting Women-Owned Businesses This Holiday Season
Eva Taylor Grant
Shopping from women-owned businesses for holiday gifts is a bit of a no-brainer. But there are tons of other ways to support women founders, beyond just buying from the big brands you already know.
“It is important to support women-owned businesses because by doing so, we help unleash the incredible amount of untapped talent and acumen that women bring into the business world,” Gigi Stetler, an entrepreneur tells MAED. “By supporting women-owned businesses, we support the inclusivity, diversity, and innovation that women foster when creating a new business.” And there’s way more to tap into this positive spirit during the holidays than you may think.
Here’s MAED’s guide to supporting women-owned businesses this holiday season, fit for every lifestyle.
Check Out Women-Led Wednesday
Women-Led Wednesday is a good way to start paying attention to businesses you can support during the holidays. “Founder Cassie Abel is launching this initiative this November to draw attention to women-led brands and provide an alternative to Black Friday madness,” Casey Gardonio-Foat, Founder and Owner of Wink and Rise tells MAED.
Even if you just post about Women-Led Wednesday on social media, you’re helping by spreading the word.
Ask Your Business-Owning Friends If They Need Help
Many women own businesses. So chances are, one of your friends needs some help with hers over the holidays.
“If you’re close enough to a woman who owns a business, ask how you can really help her,” Amanda Abella owner and creator of Make Your Money Honey, tells MAED. “One day of being a ‘gopher’ on errands or helping package and ship products or 100 other tasks on her to-do list could be a lifeline to her and her business.” Giving your time as a present can also help you save some money on gifts, while growing your friendship.
Don’t Just Focus On Businesses That Sell Products
Getting a bit out-of-the-box with gift giving is another great way to support women business owners.
“It’s obvious to help by buying items from woman-owned businesses to use as gifts, but not every woman-owned business makes a product,” Abella says. “What about ones that are services, such as brand coaching?” Try gifting a financial planning session, a personal trainer, or something similar for a friend. You’ll provide a personal and empowering touch to your holiday women’s empowerment.
When you’re frequenting your favorite local coffee shop, restaurant, or hair salon this season, don’t forget that it might be women-led. “Generous tips are always appreciated this time of year, and can be especially helpful for women-led businesses trying to bolster their revenue at the year’s end,” Casey Gardonio-Foat, tells MAED.
Also, if you have a housekeeper or babysitter who runs her own business, it’s especially important to make sure to include her in your holiday giving.
Check Out Holiday Markets
Getting out to holiday markets and pop-up events can help you find new women-led businesses to support. “Such events often draw a majority of their vendors from small, women-owned companies and are a great place to meet the individuals who make the gifts you’ll be giving,” Gardonio-Foat says. Events like these are also fun for the whole family, and a great way to get immersed in your community.
Support A Woman Business Owner In Another Country
Women in the United States need support, but this isn’t the only country with women-business owners looking to expand their reach.
“The benefits of women economic empowerment in rural countries is powerful,” Northern says. “The more women are able to work, the faster economies grow. Support a rural woman with a micro loan or a donation this holiday season and impact her entire community.” Finding ethical ways to directly support women business owners oversees, or nonprofits that support them (like Vital Voices and Mama Hope) can be a great way to expand your support for women.
Create A Shopping Guide
One last thing to consider is that supporting women business owners should not stop after the holidays are over. With a little bit of effort, you can continue to grow your network of businesses to support for years to come.
“Create a shopping guide for your community featuring women-owned businesses and share on social media,” Dominga Ramirez, owner of Perican Bing, tells MAED. “Most neighborhood associations have a list of women and minority-owned businesses that you can draw from so you’re not starting from scratch.” Add it to your Instagram highlights, email it to friends, and save it for personal use. The list will always come in handy.
Eva Taylor Grant is a writer, cancer survivor and advocate. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Girlboss, and MAED, among others.