WASHINGTON, D.C. — The month of October marks National Women’s Small Business Month. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, women-owned businesses have generated $1.9 trillion worth of revenue in our economy. This impact was made possible by the hard-fought outcomes from feminists who battled for voting rights, constitutional equality, and economic justice for decades.
It was not until the Women’s Business Ownership Act of 1988 that women were even allowed to get a business loan without the signature of a male relative to co-sign for them. The Small Business Administration also reported that since the total of women-owned business in the U.S. were first recorded at approximately 400,000 in 1972, this amount has skyrocketed to over 13 million. This outstanding milestone achieved by female entrepreneurs deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated.
However, the barriers faced by women business owners to this very day remain a large threat. Women business owners, especially those in marginalized communities, still regularly face systemic racism, harassment, misogyny, and inequality in their respective fields. This is why NOW continues to advocate for protections and policies such as pay equity, maternal healthcare, financial literacy, and more.
In honor of National Women’s Small Business month, we invite you to support a woman-owned business in your community. Supporting and celebrating women-owned businesses not only enriches your community, but it also helps rectify the gender pay gap and all of the damaging results that comes from it.
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The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the nation’s leading membership-based advocacy group dedicated to defending women’s rights, advancing equality and combating injustice in all aspects of social, political and economic life. Through educating, mobilizing, and convening a vast network of grassroots activists across the country, NOW advocates for national, state and local policies that promote an anti-racist and intersectional feminist agenda. Since its founding in 1966, NOW has been on the frontlines of nearly every major advancement for women’s rights and continues to champion progressive values today. More about NOW’s efforts and resources is available at NOW.org.