At the announcement of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing, I felt numb. What else could go wrong in 2020? Well, there it was! Our heroine in the Supreme Court who would keep our justice system balanced in support of women and civil rights, had left the building.
Rather than dwell on the political implications of Ruth’s passing, I started to focus on what made her the Notorious RBG.
In the days following her passing, social media was flooded with her famous quotes, dissenting opinions and cases she won in support of equality for women in the workplace, finances, medical choices and their homes.
In her honor, I’ve adopted these quotes to remind women entrepreneurs of their power. We can use her wisdom as guidance to help us create spaces where we are equal in entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship gives women the opportunity to achieve equality by coming to the table as leaders and signing our own paychecks. We create spaces where we HAVE to be heard and respected!
The American Express State of the Women Owned Business Report stated that as of 2019, women-owned businesses represent 42% of all US owned small businesses, employing 9.4MM workers and generating $1.9 trillion.
Growth in the number of women owned businesses, total employment by women-owned businesses and total revenue for women-owned businesses grew faster than the average small business between 2014-2019. By leading almost half of all small businesses in the US, we are helping drive the US economy.
Although the number of women-led businesses is approaching parity with men, a woman’s longevity in business is at risk because of factors like less access to capital than men. The pandemic has exacerbated this reality.
According to a Babson’s Diana International Research Institute survey, “women entrepreneurs are often sole proprietors, and their relatively smaller ventures are too frequently perceived as a “side gig,” something they’re doing when not busy raising children [something that was born out of necessity]. That can make obtaining crucial assistance, whether from the government, a bank, or an investor, harder to come by.”
Women also tend to have businesses in industries like hospitality, childcare, personal care, adult home care and retail, which have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn.
As a result we are doing more with less – adjusting business models, offering new products and services and rebranding – to survive and thrive in this economy.
While it’s tempting to follow any path to increased sales and therefore more money, finding a pivot that will sustain the business past the economic downturn and past the pandemic’s aftershocks should be the goal.
Have a financial expert look at the financial impact of different pivot scenarios. Then decide which option could generate the most revenue over time.
When the pandemic started some restaurants pivoted their operations, opting to feed communities of essential workers, food pantries and homeless shelters as a means to stay open.
Retail businesses shifted to making masks and protective gear to remain viable.
They also were serving the public and governmental sectors, which opens up a new revenue stream. Some product companies started a line of hand sanitizers.
All of these industries were responding to the times by putting community first. Consider making a pivot that generates the revenue and allows you to contribute to your community. You may even create an entirely new line of business and revenue stream.
I share these quotes with you in memoriam of a woman who was “small but tallawah” (pronounced tal-ah-wah, a Caribbean term that means strong or fearless. very strong-willed, fearless and not to be underestimated or taken lightly).
Her legacy spans far beyond policy. She was the ultimate self-starter, fighting for women during a time when that was not so common. Her life reminds us that the struggle for equality is never over, and that it’s our duty to protect it for future generations.
Rest in Peace Ruth Bader Ginsberg. You will be missed.