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We’re a woman-owned business. So what?

I’ve had the application to be certified as a women-owned business on my desk for six years. Here’s why I just can’t mail it in.

Although March is women’s history month, believe me when I say that this article has nothing to do with recognizing women for being outstanding women.  In fact, I have had the completed application to become an MWBE (Minority- and Women- Owned Business Enterprise) in a folder on my desk for the past six years. No joke. I originally looked into it because the vice-president of my company asked me to do so, thinking it might open doors for us. So why is it still sitting on my desk? My company seems to qualify, but I have never sent it in.

Was I afraid a site visit from the certification squad would disqualify us because we don’t have Kleenex on every staff member’s desk for those emotional moments that are an inevitable part of being a woman-owned enterprise? Or was it because we might be rejected for aspiring to actually grow as a business, rather than remaining a micro-business?  Or was it because I was antisocial and did not want to make lots of new “best friends” at gatherings of myriad women’s business groups?  You know the ones—where you can learn how to manage up (because you are clearly not in charge) or where you can get a great support network that “speaks your language?” No. I have not submitted my company for MWBE certification because I have been working hard to get my company recognized—for all the right reasons.

I don’t like the idea of women business owners being labeled as such, because it’s as reductive and demeaning to women as it is to men. When male business owners are evaluated, they are evaluated on their skills as business owners.  I have never read a study that tried to group male-owned businesses together based on their gender, but there are plenty that lump women together in that way.

…to read this article in full, visit leading US small business resource, Inc.

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