There is no doubt that 2022 is the year of the entrepreneur, and women small business owners are entering this growing demographic in droves. New and existing small business owners are defining what it means to be your own boss. Many American workers left traditional W-2 employment and instead turned to self-employment setting records in recent years for new business licensing across the board. In addition to the rise in American’s opening their new small business, there are countless existing businesses who over the course of years prior have worked hard to provide their American-made products and services to customers along Main Street.
Women entrepreneurs who inspire
Many of these entrepreneurs are female small business owners. They have made the choice to step out of the unemployment line and into self-employment – they inspire and embody the true entrepreneurial spirit of not only our country, but the entire small business community.
Christina Metcalf, the owner of The Little Coffee Shack in Parachute, CO is a business leader in her Mountain State community by owning and operating a family-owned small business serving local coffee drinks and baked goods. In Ottawa, IL, Linda Marini offers high quality and affordable doggie daycare and socialization services at Play and Stay Dog Lounge. And Pearlie Heyward owns a local flower shop, Seven Flowers, specializing in hand-tied bouquets and funeral services in Bowman, SC.
Every day, these women who are all members of the National Association for the Self-Employed are but a few examples of those women-owned businesses helping to support and encourage a growing community of female entrepreneurship throughout the country and in all sectors of the small business economy.
A growing community thrives
It’s no secret starting, growing, and expanding a new small business requires support and motivation. Often, many small businesses struggle to stay in the black – make payroll, purchase new equipment, and pay office related expenses from overhead to benefits. Whether you are a new or existing entity, staying in the black and expanding becomes even more difficult when a global pandemic hits that impacts the small business community.
Financial support and guidance are key to success
To stay afloat during the pandemic, many small business owners across the nation sought financial assistance. They turned to a variety of sources, from bank loans to community financial centers, and the government’s Payroll Protection Plan (PPP).
As the leading national association who gives voice to the American self-employed community, we offer a wide range of resources, business guidance, and benefits as well, including a robust Growth Grant program for active members awarding a number of grants each quarter, with generous sponsorship by DELL small business. During the pandemic, we expanded our grant program to ensure our small business members got to the other side thriving and financially sound. In fact, we are thrilled to announce that AARP will collaborate with us to expand our program further by sponsoring grants to small business owners 45+ and older.
While our NASE Growth Grant program is open to all active small business members, female and minority-owned businesses are not only encouraged to apply but also make up a majority of the award winners. The female small business owners highlighted above represent recent winners of our program.
We look forward to awarding more grants and supporting the small business community in 2022 and beyond.
About today’s writer
Katie Vlietstra is the Vice President for Government Relations & Public Affairs for the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE).