Women created half of all new small businesses in the United States during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. A recent study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, though, shows the health crisis has disproportionately impacted women-owned businesses.
The number of women entrepreneurs currently ranking their business’s overall health as “somewhat or very good” fell a disappointing 13 points over the pandemic’s course. Men-owned businesses, however, reported just a five-point drop in the same period. Still, about a third of the women who responded to the Chamber’s survey say they intend to increase investments in their companies, a number only slightly lower than what men say.
Here’s how women entrepreneurs say they’re navigating the effects COVID has had on their businesses.
How COVID-19 Has Affected Female Entrepreneurs
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) points to several reasons women-owned businesses have experienced pandemic-related setbacks.
- Women entrepreneurs are much more likely to work in hard-hit sectors like retail, hospitality, the arts, and personal services.
- They are, on average, less financially resilient and less equipped to pivot their business activities in response to the crisis due to lack of resources.
- Women bear a disproportionate share of household care responsibilities, including childcare, which restricts the time they can spend on their business.
All these challenges leave organizations worldwide concerned about the pandemic’s effect on equality for women entrepreneurs.
What Female Entrepreneurs at NAWBO Are Experiencing
While the pandemic has affected members differently, those asked say what’s helped them the most is being able to tap into a real community of people who are willing to support them through these challenging times. Women have pulled together to:
- Educate each other on the PPP or Paycheck Protection Program and help one another to fill out the forms.
- Support women who are relegated to their homes because they have children involved in remote learning.
- Schedule webinars, Zoom happy hours and online events to lessen the emotional impact of the pandemic.
Everyone agrees women business owners have to wear many hats right now. They’re piloting the business side of things while also navigating increased responsibilities at home and as community leaders.
How NAWBO Southern Nevada Can Help Women Entrepreneurs Make It Through COVID Intact
Women business owners in Southern Nevada can tap into NAWBO’s many resources to help them meet today’s challenges. You can tap into the national organization’s extensive resource library, including its page devoted to Coronavirus facts and tips. You might also want to join in on online events that other chapters across the country are holding to learn about new ways to re-strategize your business and best deal with the unexpected.
Locally, NAWBO Southern Nevada supports its members by enlisting speakers who can speak to what women entrepreneurs here need now. Well-being events like outdoor yoga are helping members stay connected in a health-conscious way. And to support our members financially, we work with our corporate sponsors to implement grants that are immediately fundable, which helps women business owners and puts money back into our local community.
Become a NAWBO Southern Nevada Member
Many NAWBO Southern Nevada members consider the group their lifeline out of the house and into a supportive community. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of joining a women-focused entrepreneurial group, reach out to us today.