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Collectivism; the missing link in women’s business success

Published on in Business Support

Jade Uko, Development Manager-Essex Federation of Small Businesses shares her blog on collectivism and why business memberships for women in business can enhance their success.

Women understand working together. We understand, as women that we have issues which face us collectively as a gender and the structural changes that we need to support us to thrive in business and in our careers.

So why then, are women underrepresented in the very organisations which exist to further collective aims through working together with a shared purpose? Is it the traditional stereotype of business membership organisations as male and pale which seems a barrier? Is it a lack of information on how they can support businesses? Or perhaps its just way down on the list along with the emails, school run and endless conundrum of why so many socks become odd.

Here I make the case as to why joining a business membership can be the crucial missing link in female business success:

  1. Women in business have collective issues which require structural solutions.

An MP might be reluctant to consider change from an individual business owner, but when organisations representing thousands of business owners speak, they often offer a far more receptive audience.

Over the years organisations such as the FSB have built excellent working relationships with local and national legislators who are keen to listen and learn from the collective experiences of small business owners. These groups have been instrumental in gaining business support in the form of direct legislation through research, reports and relationship building.

By being a member, you too can make your mark structurally, influencing both local and national policy and ensuring businesses like yours are represented and the changes you need to thrive are implemented.

  1. A path to leadership

Women have been underrepresented at all levels of leadership historically. FSB research shows women owned businesses now contribute £105bn to the UK economy, an increase of 40% since comprehensive data was last collected and analysed.

To ensure continued success for women and their businesses, opportunities for leadership are important and membership organisations give access to this in a variety of ways.

Membership organisations are run by members, for their members. There are often several elected positions which give business owners direct leadership opportunities. These prominent positions in the business community help to develop business owners’ skills such as lobbying, public speaking and policy expertise.

As well as official elected positions, there are usually ample volunteering opportunities allowing business owners to develop leadership skills at their own pace and in their areas of interest. Perfect for when the odd socks become too much of a burden.

  1. A network of support

Business can feel like a lonely place. Entrepreneurs take all the risk and responsibility; a fact that often isn’t as publicised as often as the success.

Membership organisations often have member benefits which help to directly combat the feeling isolation and offer practical business solutions. These could include free insurances (which offer peace of mind), health and wellbeing support, and free legal advice which means you are covered for those times you feel unsupported and unsure where to go for help.

Many offers friendly, accessible business networking which is not just about business lead generation but also acts as a social event and a break from the day-to-day monotony of business as usual.

To conclude:

Whilst I do not underestimate the importance of pairing socks, this blog demonstrates why I think joining a business membership organisation should be of even more significance.

For female led businesses they could be the missing link to business success whether through members benefits, a powerful collective voice or by pursuing that community leadership position which has so far eluded you.

Membership organisations provide a receptive, friendly platform to pursue your business ambitions and make a difference. Understanding the purpose of collectivism is not enough, we must be active to make the changes we need.

The Best Growth would like to thank the FSB, for their continual support of our projects and we continue to enjoy working together.

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