Good morning, October. We've been waiting for you
October is National Women's Small Business Month, and in observance of this month, we're celebrating the incredible achievements and contributions of women entrepreneurs!
This is absolutely ludicous and hard to believe, but in the US, until 1988, many women needed a male relative to cosign on business loans. Thankfully, not in Canada!
Small Business Month in Canada was established in 2006 to acknowledge and applaud the substantial economic contributions of small businesses to the economy and our communities and recognize the achievements of Canadian entrepreneurs. Small businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy, and they play a vital role in creating jobs and driving economic growth.
Today, there are about 1.2 million small businesses across the country with fewer than 100 employees. Collectively, these places employ around 8.5 million Canadians, or about 70% of the total private labour force.
For me, being an entrepreneur was something I knew I wanted to do long before I had the vocabulary to describe what kind of business I wanted to open. Actually, at nineteen, I wanted to open up my own fitness centre and call it "McMuscles." :) That took a back seat when I started working at school. As my mom raised me alone from age ten on, I spent a lot of time helping her out in her classroom when I wasn't learning in my own school. That would explain why working at a school seemed like the obvious career choice at that time.
I was always obsessed with starting my own business and knew deep down I would one day, but perhaps I couldn't find the courage to do so. It wasn’t until my thirties that the lightbulb went off, and something inside of me pushed me, so I started Danna Bananas as a side hustle while working full-time at school. I was able to define that constant building energy in me—I am an entrepreneur.”
Here are some creative ways to support female entrepreneurs during National Women's Small Business Month (and beyond).
Whether you are a woman in business or feel fired up about supporting female-owned businesses, here are five inspiring ways to celebrate the achievements of female entrepreneurs everywhere.
1. Learn about the history of women-owned businesses.
2. Share the stories of female entrepreneurs.
Representation matters, and it makes a difference. Sharing the stories of successful women-owned businesses is a great way to show other women that they can build a thriving business, too. You don’t have to identify as female to elevate these stories, either. If you’re a woman with an inspiring entrepreneurial story, don’t hesitate to share your experiences far and wide. Be proud and celebrate what you have built from the ground up.
3. Get inspired by entrepreneurial women in your area.
Are you familiar with female-owned businesses in your city or town? If you aren’t, October is the perfect month to get to know these companies. With that in mind, I would like to share some words of wisdom from a few people about what they have taught me. When I first started Danna Bananas, it was an entirely different landscape to learn about. Presently, I feel I am on day one of business school. Brain overload—there's lots to learn.
- "Show your personality"(for me)—the 'funny side'. People want to laugh in this thing called life (my own words).
- “You need to roll with the punches. Don’t take yourself or business too seriously.”
- Mentors who are wiser than you will play an important role in your entrepreneurial journey. A family member, friend, or acquaintance—pay them for their expertise and advice, and to be your cheerleader! Firstly, I feel we need a new word for 'mentor'. Any suggestions?
- “Do what you are good at doing and hire professionals for the rest.”
- Ask smart people stupid 😉 questions!
- "You are going to have good days and bad days." That's life!
- "Have courage and remember that tomorrow is another day!”
4. Celebrate and support women-owned businesses all year long.
October marks the official celebration of women in small business, but we encourage you to support female entrepreneurs every day of the year. Here is a small business that is close to our hearts, both literally and figuratively: Brave Betty is a woman-owned small business that sells bras for women who travel.
Buying from women-owned businesses is a wonderful way to keep the celebration going, and it’s easy to find businesses that have the goods and services you need.
Thanks for your time and for reading this blog post. I appreciate it.