Words by Smiley Team
A newly-founded movement to support and recognise female founded products has already begun to take off on Instagram.
Buy Women Built is a dedicated movement to ‘shine a light’ on female-owned businesses that deserve recognition.
Founder Sahar Hashemi launched the brand, along with a soon-to-be up-and-running website directory, to spotlight these businesses.
“I have always believed in the power of female entrepreneurship, and that women make the most incredible entrepreneurs," she says, "and yet the misconception many have that they can’t do it, or they don’t have the right skills, is what holds them back.
“When I saw the statistics about just how much this fear is costing us - 250 billion - I thought we need to do something about it.”
Sahar is quoting from The Rose Review, which concluded that if women started businesses at the same rate as men do, there would be an additional £250 billion in the UK economy.
Other ‘developed’ nations also have 30% more female-led businesses than there are in the UK currently.
Buy Women Built refers to itself as a ‘call to arms’ to encourage both spending on female-owned products, but also to inspire women to start their own businesses.
The movement has so far had the support of more than 100 female entrepreneurs, including Little Moons creator Vivien Wong, Buddi founder Sara Murray OBE, Laura Tenison MBE, Julie Deane OBE, Lemon Fuller and Dragon’s Den entrepreneur Chika Russell.
“The idea was sparked by a tweet calling for everyone to play their part in our country’s economic recovery by buying from female-founded businesses," says Sahar. "It was simple, powerful and actionable, but something was missing. How can we buy women-built brands when we don’t know what they are?
“So I teamed up with marketing guru Barny Macaulay to create a movement that spotlights female-founded businesses. Not everyone can invest in or mentor a female business owner, but most can buy their products and services. By championing them and helping them to thrive, we’ll boost the British economy while encouraging tomorrow’s female entrepreneurs to rise.”
A directory of women-built brands will go live on the site soon, split into different sections such as Health & Beauty and Home & Lifestyle.
Until then, Sahar and Barny are building up a following on their newly-launched Instagram and using the platform to promote different brands and products.
“We want everyone to recognise that there are a growing number of thriving female-founded businesses that can inspire the entrepreneurs of the future," says Amanda Thomson, founder of Thomson & Scott, and one of the members involved in Buy Women Built.
“This campaign is essential in encouraging women to pursue success.”
BE A PART OF THE MOVEMENT: The Women’s Organisation offers start-up support to women aiming to start their own business.
WATCH: Our Smiley Talk on gender equality in the workplace and throughout people's careers.