“We need to unlock a vital source of growth that can power our economies in the decades to come. And that vital source of growth is women,” stated Hillary Clinton at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Women and the Economy Summit on September 16th.
Milford, NJ (PRWEB) September 23, 2011
Wal-Mart announced last week that it will increase its efforts to support female-run businesses in the U.S. to the tune of $20 billion over the next five years. Want to get in on the action and support women-owned businesses too? Now you can! Pink Link Pages (http://www.pinklinkpages.com) is a new online directory of women-owned and women-led businesses that has just been launched.
“Pink Link Pages provides easy access to consumers to purchase from women-owned and women-led businesses,” explained Colleen LaRose, owner.
Why buy preferentially from women-owned businesses? Well consider that while twenty-nine percent of all businesses in the US are owned by women, they only generate 4% of all business revenues! But, while these women-owned businesses are so small that most gross under $50,000 per year, they do currently hire 6% of US workers …and economists predict that women-owned businesses will create nearly a third of the new jobs anticipated in the US over the next seven years!
“We need to unlock a vital source of growth that can power our economies in the decades to come. And that vital source of growth is women,” stated Hillary Clinton in her remarks at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Women and the Economy Summit in San Francisco on September 16th. She further explained, “(But this requires) a fundamental transformation, a paradigm shift in how governments make and enforce laws and policies, how businesses invest and operate, (and) how people make choices in the marketplace.”
LaRose concurs, “Women buy 80% of all goods and services, so it just makes sense that women make an effort to buy from women-owned businesses. By increasing the revenues of women-owned businesses, all women stand to gain better employment opportunities, more access to capital and more say in workforce issues such as family leave and equal pay. The power to improve the economic standing of all women is literally in the hands (and purses) of women consumers.”
Additionally, buying from women-led businesses sends a clear message to corporations that we want to see more women in the boardrooms and in the CEO's chair. Currently only 15% of board positions are held by women and less than 3% of CEO positions in Fortune 1000 companies are held by women.
Pink Link Pages (http://www.pinklinkpages.com), a division of FemmeSpeak! LLC, is a directory of women-owned and women-led businesses whose vision is to improve the economic status of all women by encouraging the public to buy from women-owned and women-led businesses to raise the business’ revenues and to reward companies that support women in corporate leadership roles. The goals of the organization for the next five years are to: Grow revenues of women-owned businesses (increasing them from 4% to 6%) See Fortune 1000 companies employ 5% women CEO’s (currently at 2.6%) See board membership for corporations, non-profits and government institutions rise from 15% women participation to 20%.
Businesses do not have to be certified women-owned businesses to be a part of Pink Link Pages. Becoming a certified woman-owned business requires significant hoops for the businesses to go through, is expensive, and the lists are held as proprietary information or are listed on government websites that are hard to find. Pink Link Pages allows business owners to identify themselves as “at least 51% woman-owned." This “self-certification” keeps pricing for the listings low (only $59.00 per year for a basic listing and $99.00 per year for a featured listing), while providing a service to consumers that these businesses are “verified” as woman-owned rather than “certified.” LaRose clarified, " The purpose of Pink Link Pages is to identify women-owned and women-led businesses to the public... not to pass legalistic criteria required to do business with the government."
The establishment of Pink Link Pages comes at a time when the US government has also recognized the need to assist women-owned businesses in earnest. The Small Business Administration announced the new women-owned small business program and economically disadvantaged women-owned small business program in February, which marks the first time ever that Congress has allocated funding to provide set-asides specifically for women-owned businesses.
A series of monthly expos is being planned across the country and around the world, region by region, beginning late spring of 2012 to make the public aware of the women-owned and women-led businesses from each region who are listed in the Pink Link Pages directory.
LaRose concluded, "This is a global initiative that will offer services... it is not just another online directory. It is a cooperative marketing effort in which the women who post their businesses in the directory become an active part of the marketing effort. In this day and age of being able to "google" any information you want..directories need to provide more than a catalogue of businesses as just information... they need to be actively engaging both the businesses listed in their directories by providing meaningful services to them and actively engaging customers for those businesses listed in their publication. With the expos, newsletters, direct services and other planned initiatives, Pink Link Pages intends to become a vital resource to women-owned and women-led businesses as well as to consumers."
Colleen LaRose – Owner, Founder of FemmeSpeak!
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