According to Grant Thornton’s "Blueprint in Action 2020" annual report, only 30% of female employees are in the managerial positions of nearly 5,000 mid-market companies. On the other hand, financial organization Become states that there are approximately 13 million women-owned businesses in the US — with almost 90% of it founded by women of color.
But even if 79% of women entrepreneurs in the US feel more empowered than they were 5 years ago, 66% of them are still having a hard time in terms of getting funds to sustain their businesses such as venture capital (VC) funding or getting direct financial support from investors.
The higher unemployment and long-term unemployment rates — as well as the long overdue gender pay gap — have made lots of women in color start a business in order to survive during these challenging times.
See the spotlight on these incredible women whose businesses are worthy to be celebrated and supported by everyone this 2021.
Liz McVoy, Founder and Owner of
While 37 weeks pregnant with baby number 2, Liz launched her online video and marketing biz (yep, in the middle of the pandemic and due in just a few weeks). As an expert video producer, designer, and storyteller for more than 10 years, Liz saw that something is missing as to how entrepreneurs market their products.
By launching her own online course where entrepreneurs can learn on how to create valuable video content for their businesses, Liz was able to have more flexibility as a mother to her children and a reliable partner to her clients.
Sarah Paiji Yoo, Founder and Owner of
Sarah established her career in finance over the years by working at McKinsey, Goldman Sachs, and Berkshire Partners before she embraced her new path of being a serial retail entrepreneur. Her eco-friendly brand, Blueland, offers everyday products in reusable packaging. Some of their products include glass bottles, refill tablets, and household cleaners. Sarah and her brand aim to end single-use plastic, knowing how climate change continues to be felt by everyone these days.
Using flexibility as a business model since the testing, learning, and iterating of the products they’re trying to produce can greatly change their plans, Sarah and her co-founder only kept their vision, mission, and potential solutions in mind.
Before founding Blueland, Sarah also founded a mobile platform for local online shopping called Snapette and eventually sold it to Pricegrabber in 2013 — which is a leading eCommerce platform. She’s also a founding partner of LAUNCH, a startup studio.
Evelynn Escobar, Founder of
The intersectional women’s hiking group, Hike Clerb, was founded by Evelynn in 2017 in order to reclaim the space of women in color outdoors. Through sharing snippets of their group’s excursions on Instagram, Evelynn was able to cultivate a diverse and inclusive community of women. Hike Clerb’s account reached thousands of followers not long after, so Evelynn decided to register it as a non-profit organization.
Publications like Teen Vogue and Conde Nast Traveler, as well as brands like Nike and Free People Movement, have drawn their attention to Hike Clerb. As an organization that started from Evelynn’s personal funding and donations from the first members of the community, Hike Clerb is now receiving corporate donations and collaboration offers — giving Evelynn the opportunity to give back to her community.
It’s inspiring to see how these women have made their businesses grow in time, and not letting themselves drift away from their mission. Just like how the saying goes, “Empowered women empower women”, may these women give you that little push for you to start that business you’ve been thinking about.
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