Own Your Voice as a Woman Business Owner

Jun 17, 2024 | National Blog

Owning your voice as a woman business owner means expressing yourself authentically, sharing your knowledge, experiences and opinions, listening and being heard. It’s important, because you are worthy—we are all worthy—and the more you do it, the more confident you become.

So where do you begin? Owning your voice starts with knowing yourself and your business. Define your core messages and what makes you special. For instance:

  • What was your “why” when you first started?
  • What are you most passionate about today?
  • What is your personal mission statement and does it need to evolve?
  • What do you hope to make better for yourself and others?
  • What sets your company apart from everyone else out there?
  • What expertise do you personally bring to the table that’s unique?
  • Are you in alignment with your career and goals?
  • Are you truly speaking from your heart?

Once you know your voice, you are ready to find opportunities to use it. Maybe it’s at a team or client meeting, during a speaking opportunity, in an article or on a podcast or even just at home with your family or friends. Expressing yourself, sharing your knowledge, experiences and opinions, listening and being thoughtful with your words can ultimately elevate your brand, help you better connect with others, and position you as a respected leader and community impact maker.

At NAWBO, we seize the opportunity to use our bi-partisan advocacy voice—that’s now almost 50 years strong—to help women-owned businesses now and for generations to come. NAWBO has long had a seat at the table with our nation’s legislative decision makers, since we were founded as the first business advocacy organization for women entrepreneurs in 1975.

Additionally, the power and impact of women business owners in our communities and nation only continue to grow. According to the 2024 Wells Fargo Impact of Women-Owned Business Report, women-owned businesses continue to fuel the economy, representing 39.1% of all businesses—over 14 million—employing 12.2 million workers, and generating $2.7 trillion in revenue.

NAWBO Days in Washington, DC, brought together more than 200 women business owners from across the U.S. committed to using their collective #NAWBOVoice. We met on Capitol Hill to advocate around our advocacy agenda, designed with valuable input from NAWBO members and leaders to create the avenue and environment to build sustainable women-owned businesses.

This agenda includes proposed bill language to address the needs of the “microbusiness” and encourage emerging entrepreneurs. With women starting their own businesses between 2019 and 2023 at nearly double the rate of men (and 4.5 times the rate between 2022 and 2023) and the majority of these being microbusinesses, there’s never been a more important time for this conversation.

If you are interested in using your voice in this way, know that you are worthy—we are all worthy—and the more you do it, the more confident you become. NAWBO, both nationally, virtually and in your local chapter, provides opportunities for you to listen and be heard with resources to support you, including a monthly advocacy call that’s open to everyone. Check out this series of educational advocacy videos we created to help you get started:

Advocacy 101 Webinar
Advocacy 102 Webinar
Advocacy 103 Webinar

Finally, while we were together in Washington, DC, I had the incredible honor of being installed as your 2024-2025 NAWBO National Board Chair. I look forward to using my voice—together with yours—in the year ahead to serve this organization I’m so passionate about and all the women entrepreneurs and supporters who make it so special, including those in the generations to follow!

Much Aloha!

—Dr. Janis Shinkawa
2024-2025 NAWBO National Board Chair
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