Celebrating Women in Small Business
It’s National Women in Small Business Month – a time when we shine a spotlight on the dynamic women who are making waves in the world of small business. When I learned this today, I couldn’t resist taking a deep dive into the web to uncover some compelling stats–like the fact that 42% of small businesses are women-owned– and to explore the remarkable women-led companies out there.
But you know, as I delved deeper, I couldn’t ignore the challenges that women, especially women of color, continue to face post-pandemic. These hurdles include maintaining resilient businesses and securing the necessary capital and resources for success. It’s disheartening to see the obstacles that persist despite the significant impact we make on the economy; Women-owned small businesses generate a total of $1.9 trillion in revenue for the US economy.
However, in the midst of all this, I couldn’t help but reflect on my own journey as a leader and co-owner at Pennant. And honestly, that’s where my most valuable insights about being a woman in small business come from.
A Personal Reflection on Entrepreneurship
Pennant Creatives was a blend of serendipity and chasing a dream. Chris and I always had this notion of making some money together, but little did we know it would lead us here. He’s been incredibly supportive, allowing me to steer the ship, although I’ll admit I initially suspected him of offering me a ‘pity job’… But it turned out to be far from it! 6 years later– here I am, Dana, the Dreamer at Pennant Creatives, and every time I introduce myself that way, I can’t help but feel a little burst of pride. We’re seriously proud of what we’ve built here.
Starting a business once I got into it really came down to this: I knew had something unique to bring to the table. Trying to fit into someone else’s mold just wasn’t cutting it anymore. And guess what? This epiphany came at the same time as the arrival of my fierce daughter, Mirabel. I realized that to be the kind of mom I wanted to be, I had to fully embrace my own fierceness. So, I did it—not with fireworks but with some hesitation and plenty of imposter syndrome. But you know what it taught me? It taught me that I have the power to build something extraordinary from scratch.
Overcoming Challenges and Embracing Creativity
One of the most rewarding aspects of my work is standing shoulder to shoulder with individuals who may not always see themselves as natural-born leaders. In fact that’s how our creation of Values-Based Branding began. Truth be told, creating the framework wasn’t a cakewalk. We hustled hard, especially during the global pandemic, to figure out our unique path as a company. But what emerged from all the hard work was the ability to stand alongside clients, ensure they felt heard, and then co-create some seriously impactful stuff together. Let me tell you about Pennant’s clients… They’re not just cool; they’re downright amazing!
But let’s talk about the hurdles. As a woman in this game, I’ve faced my fair share of challenges. People still ask if I need my husband’s green light before making business decisions, or they wonder where my kids are when I’m at networking events. It’s an all-too-familiar tale. I also have never and will never achieve the gold standard of work-life balance. It doesn’t exist for any of us, and for sure I’ve had to pace myself. I juggle all the things–and even with a strong coparent, the demand is high every day. Thankfully I have other women here with me who can remind me that it’s all coming together and it’s going to be ok, but keeping all the things in order can be hard.
But here’s the silver lining – despite the challenges, I have the power to choose my path. I can align my actions with my values, aspirations, and my role as a mom, partner, friend, and community member. Yeah, it’s tough, and there are days when I look like I’ve been through a storm, but the real payoff is that I get to do what I love every single day. It gives me the freedom to create, build, stand alongside our clients, and support them as they bring incredible visions to life.
We say “Creativity Can Change the World” a lot around here at Pennant. We know that it’s not just a catchphrase – creativity can truly change the world. And I’m beyond grateful that, as a woman leading a small business, I get to channel my creativity into making that change happen.
Supporting Women in Small Business
We all have that remarkable woman in our lives who owns a small business. How can you show your support? Well, there are many ways:
- Purchase from Us: Buying from us is a direct way to support our businesses.
- Promote Our Work: Share our products and services with your network.
- Recommend Us: If you’ve had a positive experience, recommend our offerings to others.
And if you’re fortunate to have a friend or family member who’s a small business owner:
- Offer Encouragement: Remind her that she’s doing an incredible job, even on days when she might doubt herself.
- Lend a Helping Hand: Extend a helping hand by making her dinner, doing a grocery run for her, looking after her kids, or taking her dog for a walk.
Let’s come together to celebrate and support the women who are driving our small businesses forward, not just this month but every month of the year.