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How to Consciously Use Your Buying Power

Dear Freedom Achiever,

What does an inclusive and equitable economy mean to you? In the past year, the global pandemic has further widened the gender divide especially in the arena of entrepreneurship. One of the most striking insights from Facebook’s State of Small Business Report showed a higher closure rate for women-owned small businesses (28%) when compared to those run by their male counterparts (22%). While both groups have been facing challenging setbacks, 47% of women-owned small businesses reported experiencing drops in sales by 50% or more in comparison to 41% of male-owned small businesses.

In your local area, how many businesses run by women have you noticed missing from the mall or high street over the past year?

With the challenges currently facing women-owned businesses, women’s economic empowerment is severely being impacted globally.

Why is that important? A lot of women are the backbone of their families, so when they can’t provide economically, there is a ripple effect that impacts the wider society. It also has been shown that women-owned businesses tend to spend more on local goods and services than men-owned businesses do, which means more money circulates within the local economy and in turn, this also creates more jobs! Women’s economic empowerment is not feminist, it’s not charity, it’s not a favour, it’s not a handout, it is simple economics at work!!! 

Generally, when talking about women’s economic empowerment, the conversation turns to discussing changes at the government level which include government-led and implemented plans, grants, etc. While these measures are necessary, they often take time to implement. In the meantime, we can all do our part to contribute to the growth of our economies by consciously directing some of our personal and business spending power to purchasing products/ services from women-owned businesses. Together we can create a critical mass to grow our economies and positively impact everyone’s lives. That’s right, everyone wins!!! 

Understanding the Power of Your Individual Buying Choices

"Every time you spend money you are casting a vote for the kind of world you want." - Anna Lappe

Woman buying trousers

As a consumer (both business and personal purchasing), your individual buying power in this context, refers to not only how much money you have to spend, but also how you choose to spend the money you have at your disposal. On a day to day basis you make decisions about where to do your grocery shopping, where to buy your clothes, where to purchase gifts for friends and family, what suppliers you want to work with etc. What are the underlying factors that influence those decisions? 

What can you as a consumer do differently to  direct more of your buying power with more conscious decision making that can lead to positive outcomes for Women-Owned businesses and you?

Consciously Seek Out Women-Owned Businesses

Supporting women-owned businesses is one of the most impactful ways you can use your buying power to help create a more diverse economy that promotes inclusion. Let me quickly say, when buying, the criteria can’t be that it is just a woman-owned business product or service, your decision still includes quality, fit for purpose, meets your needs etc.

Quick story. A previous client owned a stationary store and before meeting her, I would buy my stationery supplies from a large company located nearby. Now that I had become aware of her services, I made a decision to buy from her instead. Her prices were a little higher than the place I bought from, but that made sense as she did not buy in bulk like they could and as a result, her volumes were smaller. 

If I found that her prices were significantly more for certain items, I would share this with her and where possible, we would negotiate. There were some things she could not supply, so I still used the previous place for those items. 

Her business was not in my local area, so I would have to drive further and in other instances we arranged for her to drop things off for me. We made it work. Yes, it took a little bit of extra time to set up the arrangement, but we made it work for us. So in the end we all benefited – a woman-owned business owner, the larger company and me.

 

The time making money should be greater than the time that you are spending money. Smiling african

In order to meet your buying needs, where can you purchase from a woman owned business, so that everyone benefits?

Knowing the women owned businesses that provide products /services  you need and where they are located is an important first step in consciously directing your purchasing power!

BPD can assist!

Successful black businesswoman

The BPD Associates Ltd. Women-Owned Businesses Directory has just been revamped. We are delighted with the new look and feel, we hope you are too- Our directory is the perfect place for you to find more women-owned businesses that you can consciously choose to purchase from. With over two hundred businesses listed in our directory, you can search by location or category to find quality products and services you really need, and in addition you will be supporting women owned businesses and our economies to grow.

Part of our revamp of the directory was to enable women-owned businesses outside of Trinidad and Tobago to also list their businesses. So now more women entrepreneurs can list their businesses, giving all women owned businesses registered additional visibility and also making it easier for you to find them!

Yes, everyone wins!! (That might become the directory slogan!!!)

If you know women-owned businesses and they are not listed in the directory, send them the link (it’s free to register), so they can also be visible to a wider market.

Visit the women-owned businesses directory here.

Give Feedback and Encouragement

Consciously directing your power does not only have to be limited to physically spending your money, there are other ways to support.. Never underestimate the power that your words can have on the businesses that you choose to support. Use your voice to help to uplift, champion, recommend, strengthen and encourage women in business.

Whenever possible, take a few moments to leave a positive review on their products and services so other people know that they can trust these businesses to always deliver quality products and services.

African American Man Doing Online Shopping Buying Shoes Sitting Indoors

Leverage the Power of Procurement

Architects and project managers working in office

When you support women-owned businesses, not only are you helping to create a more diverse and thriving economy by eliminating gender gaps in entrepreneurship, but these companies are known to hire significantly more employees than your average company.

Additionally, women-owned businesses have been found to reinvest into their communities which is essential for economic growth. If you are a corporate leader in top level management, your decision to work with more women-owned businesses can have a positive impact on the economy as their success will lead them to support other sectors. Imagine how much more fulfilling it would be for corporate leaders if they could make decisions that made an immediate impact in both financial prosperity and social improvement?

Promote their businesses on social media

Another great way to support the growth and sustainability of businesses that are women-owned is through sharing their products and services to your own network via social media.  By sharing their businesses for others to learn about, you are helping to grow their network and put their name out there. This helps to create a more inclusive economy given that not all business owners have the social media marketing experience or expertise that is needed to reach a broader audience. By using your own network, you can help level the playing field by promoting Women-Owned Businesses across platforms that you frequently use like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tik Tok etc.

Social media and content sharing

"As consumers we have so much power to change the world by just being careful in what we buy."
- Emma Watson

These are just a few small but significant ways that we can each take control of our individual buying power and make more conscious decisions about how we spend our money. By choosing to make an effort to put women-owned businesses in the spotlight – whether it be by choosing to buy from them or simply share their businesses with our own networks – we take an active role in helping women-owned businesses grow and prosper and supporting local economies. In turn, they are also empowered to help other women-owned businesses through their own buying power as well! This is how we can use our personal responsibility to begin to create more inclusive and equitable economies.

Live YOUR Passion!

Georgina Terry FCCA PMP, Passions to Profitability Expert
Georgina Terry FCCA PMP, Passions to Profitability Expert
My mission is to help you live YOUR Passion by providing you with the tools you need to live your life by desire and design, and NOT by default, so you can achieve your version of freedom!

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