NBC News Online posted “International Women’s Day 2021: 101 best women-owned brands” and features Visha Skincare, founded by Dr. Purvisha Patel, as one of the best women-owned skincare brands to shop on International Women’s Day.
So what’s the difference? Female-founded means that a business was created by a woman or women, according to a spokesperson for nonprofit Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), which certifies women-owned businesses in the United States after they meet a set of eligibility standards, like a woman heading up the day-to-day operations of a company. But when it comes to women-owned businesses, things can get trickier. The Department of Defense, for example, defines a women-owned business as one wherein at least 51 percent is owned and operated by a woman or by women — that is, a women-owned business can have male co-owners, as long as they don’t make up the majority of ownership.
The Small Business Administration (SBA), which is designed to support small businesses no matter who owns them, uses the 51-percent requirement when brands apply to its Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program, which offers government contracts for small businesses. These “set-asides” were implemented to help guarantee at least 5 percent of federal contracting budgets involve women-owned businesses. In 2019, the SBA noted that women-owned small businesses received $26 billion of eligible contracting dollars, equating to more than 134,500 jobs.
Women-owned businesses in 2021
Women-owned businesses and coronavirus
For Black women, business ownership can be even more difficult, according to a February 2021 survey from Visa, which partnered with market trends firm Wakefield Research to survey more than 250 Black women business owners whose revenue is less than $1 million and who employ less than 100 people: 71 percent of respondents predicted they’ll have to shut down their operations if current pandemic conditions continue for one more year. And though more than half (54 percent) of Black women respondents said their businesses received support during the Black Lives Matter movement last summer, less than a quarter (22 percent) saw that financial support flow into 2021. Widening the aperture on the effects of Covid paints an even more grim picture: By April of last year, more than 40 percent of all Black-owned businesses had shuttered.
Women-owned business resources
Among Rhyu’s tips for aspiring female business owners is patience. “Creating your business will not happen overnight. It’s a series of actions that you take every day that accumulate and become the business you aimed to grow,” she said.
Social media and networking
Slack isn’t a traditional social media site, like Instagram and Facebook, but there are specific Slack channels for women on it, like Female Founders, which is targeted at women in the tech industry, and you can apply for free online. Rhyu, herself part of Lean Luxe (for luxury business news), DtoCEcommBrainTrust (for e-commerce news) and designer Rebecca Minkoff’s FemaleFoundersCollective (for networking with other female founders), called these groups a “great way to meet other people and just share knowledge and learn from each other.” Those three Slack channels are also free and open to join.
Our favorite women-owned products in 2021
2. Parachute Linen Duvet Cover Set
3. Saalt Menstrual Cup
4. Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch Original
According to Rhyu, Hero sells a box of Mighty Patches every 15 seconds, with over 3 million boxes sold in over 8,000 stores like Target, Ulta Beauty, Urban Outfitters and Neiman Marcus. She also told us the brand is on track to surpass $80 million in retail sales for 2021.
5. Megababe Rosy Pits Deodorant
6. United Sodas of America
7. Hatch Anaelle Dress
8. Hatch Calm Bath Soak
9. Cocokind Oil To Milk Cleanser
10. CUUP Balconette Bra
11. Rellery Cuban Link Bar Necklace
12. Better Off Alone Jumpsuit
13. Resoré Towels
14. Partake Foods Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
15. Omorovicza Hand Cream
16. Ellis Brooklyn Myth Hydraparfum
17. Sigma brush cleanser
18. Gr8nola Original Granola
19. Sicily Hill Oversized Champagne Candle
Women-owned brands to support in 2021
On top of our favorite products from women-owned brands, we rounded up companies that meet the 51 percent female ownership threshold and are aligned with Shopping reader interest across various categories like food and beverage to kitchenware, home goods and wellness products. Our list of women-owned products isn’t exhaustive, but we aim to actively update this feature to help keep you in the loop about female-owned companies worth considering.
Women-owned skin care brands
Elevate your self-care routine by rolling away puffiness on your face with Mei Apothecary’s jade roller or mist your skin with Omorovicza’s Queen of Hungary Mist when your complexion is looking a little dull.
Colleen Rothschild Beauty
Melanie Grant Skin
One Love Organics
Urban Skin RX
Olive & June
Rituel de Fille