October 2019


Marketers have been attempting to reach women since the early days of advertising as they were typically the purchase decision-makers of the household. And although times have changed drastically, there’s no denying that many brands still see their target consumer as majority female. In other categories, like financial services, small business owners represent the biggest opportunity because they’re looking for brands they can trust and the guidance or support to help them grow. Now, think about the intersection of these two segments, enter: female small business owners. They might just be the most unique and empowered group of decision-makers brands are looking to reach today.    

That’s because women are a force in small business. In fact, four out of every ten US businesses are owned by women, generating more than $3.1 trillion in revenue(1). 58% of women entrepreneurs start those businesses from scratch, reporting that their greatest challenges are lack of capital and cash flow (35%), followed by marketing and advertising (16%) – 21% of those female business owners would direct additional funds to marketing and advertising purposes if more cash was available. The top five industries for women-owned business are Health/Beauty/Fitness at 19% (that’s 55% growth in 2018 over 2017), Food/restaurant (at 14%, with 45% growth), Business Services, General Retail, and Education(2).

This creates great opportunities for marketers to partner with these hard-working and passionate entrepreneurs by creating mutually beneficial engagements. These women entrepreneurs pour their hearts and souls into their passions, dedicating many hours and weekends to drive the success of their businesses. Smart marketers can show they understand their lives and support these women entrepreneurs on their path to success. Here are some great ways to get started.


Entrepreneurs are constantly seeking ways to stay focused on growth. So helping with the things that pull them from that focus creates opportunities for brands to build trust and loyalty as these businesses grow. It’s a matter of aligning what your brand wants – whether that’s awareness, trial, lead generation, sales, etc. – with leveraging your marketing dollars to help you toward your goals as you enable these women to work towards theirs.

A mutual value exchange that works very effectively and efficiently is in B2B activations that specifically engage these women business owners. Speak their language and understand their motivation to get to the next level. That means they could use a helping hand in finances, marketing, and/or support in their back office – help them do the things they know they want and need to do.


Often, women entrepreneurs are not simply seeing a “white space” and jumping in to fill it, but rather they are tapping a passion or desire of theirs, and then finding ways to make it their livelihood.  With this, she is often her best advocate. So by giving her a platform to tell her story and get the word out about her business – offering to help her solve some of her back office business issues so she can stay focused on growth – she may look to your brand as a partner engagement, and not just a transaction.


Show her you understand that’s she’s busy and her time is limited. Don’t make her jump through hoops to find the value in your brand engagement. If it’s education, give it to her in small, snackable bites of content. If it’s an offer, make sure it’s a simple and attainable one without a bunch of frustrating exclusions – better yet make it automatic. Listen and learn what she needs and definitely do not waste her precious time.


Women are a force in your business growth, and as entrepreneurs they put it all into their own businesses. Brands that align their own goals with those of women-owned businesses can find mutually beneficial ways to grow together, and respectively.

  • American Express, 2018 State of Women-owned Business report
  • Guidant Financial, 2019 Small Business Trends

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By Kelly West
Account Manager