Buying With Purpose: How You Can Support Women-Owned Businesses
Women-owned businesses in Canada are growing at a rapid pace and are becoming increasingly prominent, with a 30% increase in women-owned businesses in the last ten years¹, and statistics clearly show the huge impact that they have on Canada’s economy. However, time and again, the question arises ‘Why is it important to support Canadian women-owned businesses?’
Good for the economy
There is an unparalleled opportunity to unlock economic growth by supporting women entrepreneurs. Supporting Canadian women-owned businesses and tapping into the immense potential that they have, could reenergize Canada’s economy and its businesses, adding about $150 billion in incremental GDP by 2026².
When you buy from a women-owned business, it enhances the economic stability of their families and communities. They are able to create jobs, grow wealth, and give back in so many ways. A strong, successful, independent woman entrepreneur sends a positive message to young women as they develop their leadership skills and map out their futures. But further, women-owned businesses give back to their communities, mentoring, volunteering, sponsoring programs and initiatives helping us raise healthy and strong youth, support the sick and elderly, and tackle the most difficult challenges in the communities. Buying from women-owned businesses is in a way putting money back into the economy – and allowing it to stay in the local economy – right where it will make the biggest impact.
Good for business
Buying from women is good for your business! Including women-owned businesses in your supply chain makes your supply chain diverse and inclusive which in turn results in increased customer satisfaction, higher revenues, better employee retention, more robust supply chains, and increased access to new markets. With an innate sense of innovation and problem solving, they have a remarkably faster turn-around time, are more flexible to making changes or tweaks midway if required and are not afraid to try new things!
Diversifies your pool of suppliers
Buying from women-owned businesses makes your supply chain diverse and inclusive. It gives you an additional pool of suppliers who traditionally don’t have visibility or access to your business or organization – ensuring that you benefit from the best products and services available. By working with a women-owned business you also showcase your company’s commitment to supplier diversity, working with small and local businesses and furthering economic growth in local communities.
Promotes innovation and creativity
Women-owned businesses are creative, agile and innovative. Supporting women-owned businesses helps in making our markets more competitive, interesting and unique. They are also known to think differently and have a unique perspective which can lead to more creative energy which, in turn, leads to improved problem solving. Startups owned by women tend to be more creative and employ a diverse workforce.
During the pandemic, the creativity and innovation of women-owned businesses has been proven repeatedly. Women-owned businesses made quick decisions, changed the way they interacted with their customers, switched to online shops, revamped their manufacturing processes to develop PPEs and other essential products and just stayed strong and firm in their resolve to continue and succeed.
In fact, over half (55.0%) of businesses majority-owned by women introduced new ways to interact with or sell to customers to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, compared with 49.7% of other businesses. Furthermore, over one-third (34.0%) of businesses majority-owned by women reported that they modified their products or customer services to adapt to the pandemic, compared with over one-quarter (27.4%) of all businesses in Canada³.
Visiting and supporting women-owned businesses can make more of an impact than you know. Today, women entrepreneurs are transforming economies, but they can only do it with your support. Which leads us to our second most commonly asked question, ‘How do I support women-owned businesses?’
WBE Canada works with companies and organizations of all sizes helping them establish the necessary policies and processes to become more appealing to women-owned businesses and other diverse companies. We have tools and support to help you improve and diversify your supply chain – no matter how small or large is your spend.
Certified WBE Badge
If your organization is an existing Member of WBE Canada, you have access to our WBE Database – a list of verified Canadian women-owned businesses. We will be happy to share the category list to help you find the right supplier for your upcoming project or initiative.
If your organization is not a Member of WBE Canada, look for the Certified WBE Badge on the websites, RFP responses and email signatures. Let us know that you are interested in buying from Canadian WBEs and we will be happy to partner with you.
You don’t need to wait for your organization to make a move to a formal supplier diversity program. Utilize your department budget to buy from Canadian business women, look for “Canadian Women Brand” logo for your personal or family purchases.
Canadian Women Brand logo
Are you planning a strategic planning meeting for your team or marketing campaign for your project? Or planning to go shopping or your weekly grocery run? Look for products that have the Canadian Women Brand logo on it or check WBE Canada website for more information. The logo indicates that the product is not just ‘Made in Canada’ but also ‘Made by a women-owned business’. Every purchase made, helps in supporting our Canadian women-owned businesses and in turn the Canadian economy at large.
By supporting women-owned businesses you will be able to fuel your level of impact, you will be integral in making a difference and helping our women entrepreneurs grow and succeed.
¹ Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, Employment by class of worker
² The Power of Parity: Advancing Women’s Equality in Canada; McKinsey & Company, June 2017
³ Impact of COVID-19 on businesses majority owned by women, May 2020 – Statistics Canada