MELBOURNE, FLA. — weVENTURE Women’s Business Center at Florida Tech’s Bisk College of Business is compiling a directory of women-owned businesses in Brevard, Indian River and St. Lucie counties to help shoppers find and support local female entrepreneurs.
The directory will be a free resource at https://weventure.fit.edu/ starting in November, and weVENTURE will also produce a printed holiday shopping guide available at locations throughout the three-county region just in time for the 2020 holiday gift-buying season.
To be included in the guide, businesses must register at the weVENTURE website by Oct. 31. Inclusion is free for any business with a woman CEO or partner. Registration is available at https://weventure.fit.edu/resources/directory/.
Advertising opportunities are available to any business and will support the publication of the holiday guide.
According to the 2019 AMEX State of Women-Owned Business Report, the vast majority of female-owned businesses are “solo-preneurs” with no employees, with many also home-based. Further, in response to lower pay at their place of employment, more women than ever – particularly women of color – are starting up “side” businesses. Amid rising unemployment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, women are also finding ways to monetize their hobbies and skills. The weVENTURE team has noticed this boom in local entrepreneurial ventures by women and was inspired to compile the directory.
“Holiday shopping will be fundamentally different this year because of the pandemic,” said weVENTURE Executive Director Kathryn Rudloff. “I believe consumers will want to help local, small businesses as much as possible this year, and we want to make it easy for them to find and support women entrepreneurs.”
Funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration, weVENTURE Women’s Business Center helps level the playing field for women entrepreneurs by providing the education, training and support they need to launch and grow their businesses. The directory will be an ongoing service weVENTURE will provide the local community.
weVENTURE also plans to provide all businesses who register for the directory a sticker they can proudly display in their store window or on their business vehicle so customers can easily identify them as woman owned. It will read: “Women Entrepreneurs: WE Mean Business.”