- Guest Post by YEC
It's no secret that having the support of other leaders can make a major difference to a person's entrepreneurial success. When your network contains others who can identify with your struggles, they can then help motivate you from a personal perspective and deliver timely advice when you need it most. For years, women have been making massive strides in the realm of business, reaching further and higher than ever before—and the support of other female entrepreneurs is a great way to boost that growth even further. For tips on how to show your support, eight leaders from Young Entrepreneur Council discuss how female entrepreneurs can better support fellow women in business and create pathways for change. Young Entrepreneur Council members share ways women can support each other in business.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS.
1. Invest in Women-Owned Businesses Female entrepreneurs should invest in women-owned businesses. Yes, we should mentor up-and-coming female entrepreneurs and offer any advice we can, but ultimately women need funding for their businesses and the unfortunate fact is that most of that funding is still going to companies created by white men. My goal, if I ever sell my business, is to use the proceeds to invest in as many companies started by women (and specifically women of color) as I can because that seems to me to be the most impactful thing, we can do to actually change the makeup of who runs companies. - Kelsey Raymond, Influence & Co. 2. Celebrate One Another's Successes Celebrations can be done on social media, of course, or through online reviews, but person-to-person connection is invaluable. It is extremely powerful to drop a fellow female entrepreneur a note to acknowledge their accomplishments. When you observe another business owner doing something that sparks your interest or deserves recognition, acknowledge it. Similarly, personal referrals are extremely important. When you find a product or service you love, share it! - Lindsay Tanne, LogicPrep
3. Help Make Women's Voices Heard As women, doing business or starting a business couldn’t be more challenging. Speak up if you see inequality in real life and support a cause that is women-related on social media. In addition, supporting individually is also an important way to help. For example, mentoring a younger woman in business or promoting individual businesses that are created by women empowers the female entrepreneur community. Simply showing care, giving advice to your mentee or introducing new opportunities to her will make a greater difference than doing nothing. - Yifei Yin, Human Heritage Project
4. Make One Impactful Introduction "Support or buying products made by women may help to some extent but does not initiate the immense change a powerful introduction can make over a career. Years ago, one male mentor of mine introduced me to his client who ran her own agency. His client, and now my mentor, sold her agency for several million dollars and has worked with me over the years to set up mine for the same outcome. My most important means of helping other female entrepreneurs is one immense introduction. Just one can be life changing. One of my mentees at Techstars got her first investor from a simple intro I made, which helped her fundraising snowball into a huge success. That's the power of one introduction. - Beck Bamberger, BAM Communications
5. Share Your Knowledge The best way to support women in business as a female business leader is to share your knowledge and pay it forward. If your past mistakes or successes can help other women avoid similar mistakes or provide them with a great idea, then you've made a positive impact with not a whole lot of effort. Too often, I think, business leaders keep to themselves when it comes to their companies, possibly to protect a competitive advantage. I believe that being transparent about your decisions can be motivational to others. A great way to share your business experience with other women is to get involved with associations that empower women in your industry and become a mentor or even just network with other women in business. - Kristy Knichel, Knichel Logistics 6. Create A Directory for Referrals One way to support other female entrepreneurs is to compile and create a directory of those in a variety of different industries and disciplines. When you make a new connection, ask that woman if she would be open to being on your referral list. When your business is expanding, a client needs specific support or there is a skill needed that you don't possess, allow other women the opportunity to collaborate or accept those referrals. Humans tend to be altruistic in nature, and if you are able to support another woman on her journey and help her reach her goals, whether through important introductions, monetarily or with words of advice, there is a high chance that your willingness to give and share will be reciprocated. - Jenn Cino, fit. period.
7. Ask Them What They Need The most impactful thing female entrepreneurs can do to support other women in business is to ask them what they need and then commit to providing it for them. Whether it's a resource, an introduction or a strategy, providing the solution for them not only fast tracks their success and creates goodwill but it teaches them the invaluable skill of being a resource provider. If every female entrepreneur routinely and intentionally provided other women in business with two to three solutions per week and asked them to pay it forward, it would create a transformational ripple for women-owned businesses. - Rebecca Cafiero, The Pitch Club
8. Promote Them on social media This can be done by sharing posts, sharing information about products and engaging with them. People like to hear from other real people. Those testimonials and real stories are what sell products and services. If you support a specific product and share about it, your followers will see that and become interested. That business can now share your testimonial to their audience and show real people talking about the product. Businesses can save these social media shares and comments from you and use them for future marketing. Social media is a game-changer for a lot of people, and it is one of the best ways to sell for most people. Supporting women through social media is easy and free! - Lisa Collum, Top Score Writing
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Expert Panel YEC is an invitation-only, fee-based organization comprised of the world's most successful entrepreneurs 45 and younger.