Advice from Honeycomb Alumni for Women’s Small Business Month!
This October is Women’s Small Business Month, and to celebrate, we talked with several of our female small business owner Honeycomb Credit alumni about how they’re making a difference in their communities, and what advice they’d give to other women trying to start or run small businesses.
But hold on, why is Women’s Small Business Month even a thing? Women small business owners make up 40% of the nation’s population of business owners, yet they receive only a fraction of the funding that their male counterparts get. The average size of a loan received by a woman-owned business is 31% smaller than for comparable male-run businesses. Yet, at the same time, women-owned businesses generate more than twice the amount of revenue. So what gives?
Luckily, ways of supporting female entrepreneurs are emerging, and loan crowdfunding is just one of them. Honeycomb has helped many women-owned businesses crowdfund capital for their businesses’ growth, and we’re so lucky to count them as part of our alumni community.
We talked to four different alumni: Karyna Kerin, owner of Triangle Foundry, Laura Yochum from Prostainable, Chiquita Zachary from Skyn by Chi, and Samantha Story-Camp from Pip & Lola’s and asked them what they’re doing to make an impact on their community, and what advice they’d give to women in business.
If you’re an aspiring female entrepreneur, read on! (Or, if you’re not female-identified, it’s still pretty good advice.)
Funding female entrepreneurs’ dreams, one small business loan at a time
Did you know that women-owned businesses make up 48% of Honeycomb crowdfunding campaigns? In fact, our largest campaign to date has been by a women-owned business - Square Cafe in Pittsburgh, who raised $250,000 for their restaurant’s move!
This just goes to show that female entrepreneurs are realizing their financial goals through alternative financing, like loan crowdfunding! Wanting to learn more? Join our small business owner newsletter for more resources
As a female entrepreneur, what change would you like to make in your community?
Some of our alumni responded on the lines of changing our collective mindset when it comes to work and productivity, such as Karyna of Triangle Foundry, a yoga and cycling studio in Pittsburgh. She says, “I would like to make a change in the way our community views work life balance. I want to shift from the hustle mentality into a mindset that values family, mindfulness, and an abundance of space for individuals to grow and rest.”
Other women business owners who responded talked about how they’re making changes in their community through their businesses.
Laura from Prostainable told us, “I am currently on a mission to reduce plastic waste in our community at a consumer level, but I would like to work with other businesses (large and small) to encourage change within their workplace and educate them on how to service our community with less waste.” Prostainable, a zero waste refill shop in California, raised $70,500 from 54 investors to open up two new locations in their area!
Samantha from Pip & Lola’s wants to do good in her community by helping out other women with the soap her shop sells. “Starting last year, for every 2 items we sell, we donate one full sized bar of soap to a regional domestic violence shelter or charity. We don’t have the money to write Big Fat checks, but we can help them wash the stink of the worst time of their lives off of them in a gentle and loving way,” she says.
What advice would you give to female entrepreneurs in your industry?
Chiquita Zachary, owner of Skyn by Chi says, “Be passionate! Be open to any opportunity that comes your way and build relationships.” This year, Chiquita’s CBD cosmetics company raised $17,600 with Honeycomb to purchase inventory for a busy season.
Speaking of the fitness industry, Karyna has three pieces of advice: “Value yourself and what you have to offer instead of giving it away for free,” she says. “There is room in the industry for all of us, because we bring something unique. Finally, you do not have to live in the hustle mentality. Give yourself rest.”
In the retail world, Laura advises, “Listen to your customers and to other business owners of all industries, research trends, and research history. To be a business owner today should be a constant evolution of growth, learning, and providing a service/product that fills a need.”
Samantha’s advice is on owning your truth as an entrepreneur, gender aside. “To be honest, stop thinking of yourself as a “female” entrepreneur and just be a business owner,” she says. “As women, we put so much pressure on ourselves to be More. Your best is good enough. You don’t have to run yourself ragged to appease everyone. I feel like male business owners don’t have that same pressure.”
Are you a women-owned business owner making change in your community?
We want to talk to you! Honeycomb Credit is a great method of growing your business in a way that impacts both your business’s and your neighborhood’s growth. Fill out the form below for more information.