May 1 was the first annual Woman-Owned Business Day. Fashionable office supply retailer UrbanGirl.com, a woman-owned small business, founded the holiday. UrbanGirl coordinated the event along with more than 500 other woman-owned businesses across the country and around the world. This event was a true grassroots effort with no businesses paying to participate. The businesses promoted each other in the spirit of collaboration.
A survey of the business owners who participated showed the event to be a success. 80% of women surveyed said that they benefited from the free publicity generated by the event by receiving more sales or gaining a larger social media following. The same women also report enjoying intangible benefits such as feeling empowered and supported. 98% of the entrepreneurs involved want to participate again in the event next year. California business owner Cass Reed says, "As a woman running a business that is traditionally a male-oriented service, it is especially meaningful for me to support other woman-owned businesses."
The event encouraged consumers to "buy from women" on May 1. UrbanGirl founded the day because woman-owned businesses have a much more difficult time securing funding from bank loans or venture capital than male-owned businesses. UrbanGirl hopes to show that woman-owned businesses are good investments. The holiday was promoted by thousands on social media using the hashtag #buyfromwomen. UrbanGirl published and promoted a directory of woman-owned businesses that can be found at www.urbangirl.com/women.
UrbanGirl will continue to update the directory and support other woman-owned businesses. "Hannah Diamond, our marketing coordinator, has done an amazing job putting together this directory. What a cool shopping tool! It's broken down by category so you can easily find woman-owned sites for needs, wants, and wishes," says UrbanGirl owner Dyan Condry. The UrbanGirl team hopes to create more opportunities to support female entrepreneurs such as local events and organized social media marketing efforts.
UrbanGirl Office Supply specializes in fashionable and colorful office supplies. With designer lines like Kate Spade and Anna Griffin, UrbanGirl gives office product purchasers all over the country an alternative to traditional office suppliers. The website also sells the whole range of office supplies from basics like manila file folders, to office furniture, to fun office decor. This woman-owned small business is known for excellent customer service and a unique selection of products. UrbanGirl has been open since July 2013, and was chosen by Internet Retailer Magazine as one of the top 100 retail websites in 2014.