ARTICLE BY: ROBIN CONNOR, DEMASTAR
October is National Women’s Small Business Month. As such, it’s a time to celebrate the progress women have made in entrepreneurship and business. In 1972 there were only 402,000 women-owned businesses in the U.S. Last year that number grew to 12.3 million! Women are forging ahead by making themselves a prominent part of the business world today and continue to fight for equality in pay and opportunity.
While it’s anything but easy for someone to start a business, it can be especially hard for minority-owned businesses, with women-owned businesses falling into this category. Opportunities for growth are often hard to find but they are available, and it’s important to make sure you are looking EVERYWHERE!
One growth prospect some businesses do not know about is in working with local government. Local and state government agencies have a goal to award five percent of business to women-owned businesses. Governments want more and more businesses to be aware of job postings so they have a wider selection to choose from and are able to award the right business with the right job, ultimately giving the best to their communities and at the right price.
Many business owners think their business is not a fit for this type of work, but the opportunities range to cover all types of work. Landscaping, architecture, construction and engineering often come to mind when thinking about government work, but there are plenty of other opportunities for nearly every type of business, like holiday lights, finance, catering, flowers, and even eggs for egg hunts or teddy bears used by the police departments to give to kids in emergency situations.
How do women find these opportunities? They must first be certified as a women-owned business through the Small Business Association’s website. Government agencies post opportunities to their websites, but it can be time consuming for busy owners to sort through various websites and opportunities. Fortunately, there are websites, , that will automatically send business owners relevant job opportunities.
Once notified of an opportunity, businesses bid on the project. This can also be time-consuming, but with websites this process is streamlined so businesses can submit e-bids that are competitive and successful.
With the support of governments through opportunities, women can continue to grow their impact in business. The opportunities are there, we as women simply need to know where to look.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Robin Conner is DemandStar’s Vice President of Marketing, responsible for defining, creating and implementing the company’s go-to-market strategy. Prior to joining DemandStar, Robin was Director of Marketing at Avalara where she was responsible for defining and executing the go-to-market strategy for small business. Robin studied entrepreneurship/business at Boise State University and holds a certification in marketing strategy from Cornell.