Pulitzer Prize winner Laurel Thatcher Ulrich once said, “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” We disagree. As co-founders of The Women 360, a Facebook Group and online platform designed to inspire and support female entrepreneurs in Arizona and beyond, our successful group of well-behaved, leading ladies work to make history every day.
And that’s why Women’s History Month, which takes place every March, is significant to us. There are so many admirable women who have made history, ranging from those in the White House to those behind white picket fences. It’s the female business owners working tirelessly to support their families and their employees who capture our hearts the most.
We started this group after first meeting each other a few years ago and discovering that we were both business owners with a passion for educating and empowering women. We both founded successful businesses, Her Certified and Scottsdale Wine Club respectively, and we both authored books that focused on women. We share a passion for inspiring other women to become business leaders.
As independent small business owners, we joined forces in January 2019 to launch The Women 360 Facebook Group to collectively gather like-minded, driven female entrepreneurs. Through Facebook, we were able to organize “Reinventing Your Greatness,” a social event and panel discussion with history-making women held at a helicopter hanger with a turnout of 300 women before the Covid-19 pandemic prevented us from gathering in person. Throughout the pandemic, we shifted gears and hosted virtual events as well as socially distanced lunch and learns, which have grown our membership to more than 2,300 women today.
Through our Facebook Group, we have found that women want to learn, experience, and invest in communities that empower them. On the weekends we feature popular “Sell Yourself Saturday” and “Sell Yourself Sunday” posts where members or business owners can post what they do, thereby supporting fellow group members.
We’ve learned over the past three years that female-led business owners have unimaginable resilience when confronted with difficult challenges like the pandemic and quarantines. Women around Arizona and around the country have effectively shifted their business online, often more so than their male counterparts. In fact, over the last year, according to this year’s Global State of Small Business report, 73% of Facebook Groups related to entrepreneurship in the U.S. have been created by women.
We are not putting ourselves in the same category as revolutionary women like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Harriet Tubman or Rosa Parks. We have found our own way to empower, encourage and educate women business owners and those who want to make the leap to entrepreneurship.
Well-behaved women can make history, just look to your local female business owners. They are doing it each and every day. During Women’s History Month and beyond, we encourage you to support women in your community, including female-led businesses, with your words and your dollars.
For more information on The Women 360, visit the Facebook Group or thewomen360.com.
Cathy Droz and Nancy Meek are the co-founders of The Women 360.