Small Business Forum

Get Listed in a Women-Led Business Directory – and Help Other Women, Too

Are you a woman business owner with an ecommerce website? Would you like to get more customers for your business while also supporting other women owned businesses? Then check out the new website Started by entrepreneurs Marta Ferro and Ann Lawrence, the website is a shopping portal that links visitors to businesses owned or led by women.

Lawrence got the idea for a site featuring women owned businesses when she was shopping for a new handbag. Around the same time, she read “yet another article” about how few women headed up corporations or sat on corporate boards. She realized she had no way to tell whether the companies she was considering buying a purse from had adequate numbers of women in leadership positions. Would her dollars go to a business that cared about women’s success—or just wanted their money?

Based on the fact that women influence 85 percent of all consumer spending in the U.S., Pink51’s goal is “to provide a destination where women can shop with companies that support, promote, empower and value women,” according to the website. “Shop With a Purpose” is its slogan; customers can click through to the websites, buy from listed companies and know that a percentage of profits from the sales will go to women-related causes.

The partners donate 10 percent of profits to charities that promote economic development and leadership success for women and girls. Members can vote for the charities they want to support.

Ultimately, Ferro and Lawrence want to become the largest online directory of women-owned and women-led businesses. Within the first month of launch, they had 300 companies listed.

Getting your company listed on the site is free. However, in order to qualify for listing on the site, your business must have at least 50 percent female ownership, at least two women senior executives or a minimum of 20 percent female board members. According to the site these figures were purposely set just a bit above the average percentages represented in businesses, in order to encourage companies to “stretch.”

The types of companies represented on the site range from apparel and accessories to beauty, electronics, travel and service providers. And since Pink51 includes both large and small businesses, consumers will not only find small, local women-owned companies they can buy from, but also big names such as Nordstrom, Best Buy and DKNY.

For more information, visit Pink51.

by Rieva Lesonsky