Despite the frequent interchangeability of phrases like “women-owned” and “female-founded,” the two terms aren’t always related — a female-founded brand might not be owned by a woman anymore and a presently-women-owned business might not have been founded by a woman. During social-minded instances like International Women’s Day, understanding what each label denotes could mean the difference between supporting a brand that’s actually run by women, or one that happens to have women working within it, for example Proactiv was founded by two female dermatologists is now owned by Nestlé.

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47 percent of female business owners consider their company’s overall outlook as ‘good,’ compared to 62 percent of men polled.

So what’s the difference? Female-founded means that a business was created by a woman or women, according to a spokesperson for nonprofit Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), which certifies women-owned businesses in the United States after they meet a set of eligibility standards, like a woman heading up the day-to-day operations of a company. But when it comes to women-owned businesses, things can get trickier. The Department of Defense, for example, defines a women-owned business as one wherein at least 51 percent is owned and operated by a woman or by women — that is, a women-owned business can have male co-owners, as long as they don’t make up the majority of ownership.

The Small Business Administration (SBA), which is designed to support small businesses no matter who owns them, uses the 51-percent requirement when brands apply to its Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program, which offers government contracts for small businesses. These "set-asides" were implemented to help guarantee at least 5 percent of federal contracting budgets involve women-owned businesses. In 2019, the SBA noted that women-owned small businesses received $26 billion of eligible contracting dollars, equating to more than 134,500 jobs.

Read the full article on MSN.com

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