For the month of March, we are shining the light on women-owned businesses and female vegans. March is Women’s History Month and this is a great time to pay homage to our mothers, sisters, aunts, “Madeas” and superwomen for paving the way.
Some of the most successful companies today were started by women. Sandra Lerner started tech giant Cisco, Oprah Winfrey created her own production company, and Florence Butt started the billion-dollar grocery chain H-E-B with just $60 in 1905. Like these business owners, many women start companies as "Necessity Entrepreneurs" – needing to supplement existing income or needing flexibility to help take care of children or loved ones. Many women of color are in this category of Necessity Entrepreneurs, which has helped the economy.
While the number of women-owned businesses grew 21% from 2014 to 2019, firms owned by women of color grew at double that rate or 43%. Businesses owned by Black women grew even faster at 50%, according to American Express’ 2019 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report. This growth represented the highest rate of any group between 2014 and 2019.
While this is good news, the flip side is that there is still a revenue disparity between white-owned and Black-owned businesses. Although over 50% of women-owned businesses are women of color, they only brought in $422 billion in revenue vs white women-owned businesses who brought in $1.4 trillion in revenue.
Additionally, it was found that Black women-owned businesses earned average revenue of $24,000 per firm vs. $142,900 among all women-owned businesses. This gap is the greatest of any minority group.
With the recent push to #BuyBlack and major retailers being encouraged to include products by Black-owned businesses, some of our favorite vegan businesses are owned by Black females.
The capital of Southern food – Hotlanta (Atlanta) was shaken up when Pinky Cole opened her fast-casual burger chain, Slutty Vegan. The success of that chain led her to partner up to open Dinkies in Atlanta, a vegan Philly Cheesecake.
LA Dunn started eating a plant-based diet in 2017 to cure her joint pain and eventually started Black Girls Eat, an online business that features plant-based products, recipes and more. She said in an article that “I’m your homegirl walking through the supermarket with you. I created Black Girls Eat so that I could be an ambassador for plant-based nutrition for my community.”
In fact many of the vegan businesses making waves have all been started by women. Check out TheBeet.com’s article “10 Female Founds of Plant-Based Companies Making the World Better.’
We encourage you to find your superwoman entrepreneur in your community and give them some love. Mary Lee is our superwoman who helped inspire Southern Roots Vegan Bakery. Like so many Necessity Entrepreneurs, I became my grandmother's caregiver and my family's switch to a plant-based diet no only improved Mary Lee's health but led to a flourishing business.
And thank you to the digital publication, Best of Vegan, for featuring us in the article "8 Women-Owned Vegan Bakeries that Ship Nationwide."
Please share with your friends and family that once they try Southern Roots baked goods, they will think this is “so good, you won’t believe it’s vegan.” Follow us on social and tag us at @SouthernRootsBiz.