What does a hip, gluten-free cookie chain share with a respected 30-year old family-run masonry contractor? A lot. They are both part of the growing trend of successful women-owned businesses in the U.S. According to American Express, between 2014 and 2019, the number of women-owned businesses climbed 21% to a total of nearly 13 million (12,943,400). Employment grew by 8% to 9.4 million. Revenue rose 21% to $1.9 trillion. That is close to Apple’s current market value of $2 trillion, and Apple is the most valuable company on earth.
While the numbers are impressive, the reality of running a woman-owned business remains exhausting. Access to capital, economic fluctuations, and the infinite need for a robust customer pipeline limits growth and crushes creativity. The benefits of overcoming these challenges, however, far outweigh the struggles. Research from Goldman Sachs shows that women-led diverse management teams deliver more substantial returns. Companies with leaders in the top quartile for ethnic and gender diversity are 33% more likely to lead their industry in profits. And, companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 21% more likely to outperform their peers. Have we made our point?
Getting certified is well worth the time and effort
If you are operating a business that is 51 percent owned, controlled, operated, and managed by a woman, you may qualify to get certified as a women-owned business. We know. You’ve heard about certification. You know it has benefits. But you don’t have time to get the paperwork together and apply. Stop. Close your office door and take ten minutes to read the application process. In 2018, the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) supported almost 15,000 WBE certified businesses. It’s time for you to join them.
WBENC is the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in the U.S. Their mission is “to fuel economic growth globally by identifying, certifying, and facilitating the development of women-owned businesses.” To achieve WBENC Certification, women-owned businesses complete a formal documentation and site visit. While the process requires time and effort on your part, the return is well worth it. WBENC certified woman-owned business gain:
- Access – Reach procurement executives and decision-makers through WBENC’s network of hundreds of major US corporations and federal, state, and local government entities.
- Knowledge – Executive training, coaching, and mentoring for you and your team through face to face and virtual events.
- Community – Networking with peers who share the same business challenges that are keeping you up at night.
- Differentiation – Certified women-owned businesses can promote their status and jump to the front of the line on new opportunities.
- Advocacy – WBNEC represents women’s interests in essential government policies and programs.
At Coupa, we proudly support women owned businesses and promote their thriving companies through our supplier portal, supplier.coupa.com. In addition, we partner with the WBENC to offer educational programs and networking opportunities. Their annual 2020 WBENC National Conference & Business Fair is coming on November 15 – 18th. To learn more, visit https://www.wbenc.org/calendar.