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There are many ways you can support small business owners just going about your daily life, and it can be a win win situation both ways.
#supportsmallbusinesses has become a widely used hashtag on social media over the last few years, making a case to support small business owners, especially women entrepreneurs.
There has been a surge of small enterprises, especially those spearheaded by women entrepreneurs. These enterprises contribute significantly to financial independence of womenfolk, employment generation, economic growth, and local development.
As per the latest MSME ministry report (2022-23), the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) sector have emerged as a highly vibrant and dynamic sector of the Indian economy over the last five decades. While the Government has been devising schemes, policies and initiatives to support the small enterprises, as a citizen we have a responsibility too because these business owners face a slew of challenges. COVID further harmed several of these firms, which were unable to revive owing to financial constraints, dwindling demand, insufficient infrastructure, and difficulty gaining access to available support.
We all keep talking about it, but at times we probably do not realize what are the little things we could do to empower the small businesses around us and make a tremendous difference in their success. Here are a few effective, easy and practical tips to support and empower small business owners in India.
Choosing to shop locally is one of the simplest yet most effective ways to support small businesses. Instead of shopping at large retail chains or from the big, established brands, make an effort to support local retailers, marketplaces, and craftsmen by purchasing products and services from them whenever possible. You directly contribute to their growth and sustainability by doing this, and in my experience, most of the time they offer great customer experience and quality offerings. Not only this, but by supporting local artisans and craftsmen, you provide livelihood opportunities for skilled artisans.
Furthermore, with the burgeoning online shopping scene, you can research and choose from a host of homepreneurs who sell handcrafted or homemade goods. From healthy snacks to skin and hair care products to coaching to décor – you will find it all!
Word-of-mouth marketing is a potent means to help the small businesses. When people hear or read someone’s firsthand experience, they are more likely to try out the recommendation.
Share your positive experiences with the local businesses among your friends and family, or post your honest reviews on your social media handles. This would help drive more customers to these enterprises and increase their visibility.
One of the things I did during and right after the pandemic to help a few women entrepreneurs was to draft engaging social media posts for them and guide them on their content strategy. This is one of my skills, and at a time when they were struggling with other aspects of their business, I offered to help ease some of their stress.
Of course, your personal bandwidth would be required here, but if its doable, helping them with your skills and imparting knowledge about it to them can go a long way in empowering a small-scale entrepreneur.
Engage with the small businesses you love on social media. A like, comment, share, re-post or watching their videos help them with organic reach and growth in the online space. In today’s digital age, this is convenient as well as efficacious to provide support and encouragement.
It is quite common today to find events, fairs, or pop-up exhibitions being organized in your city. A good number of small-scale women entrepreneurs set up their stalls at these events. When time permits, visit and shop from them.
If your role or line of work allows you to plan collaborations or conduct such events, do so to showcase the products and services of the small businesses, help them gain exposure to a wider audience, and foster valuable connections. Write, record, reel it or do whatever else works for you. You can spread awareness among the entrepreneurs in your circle about networking platforms and local business associations that can provide resources and support to facilitate growth.
Stay informed about policies and regulations that impact small businesses. Advocate for reforms that create a conducive environment for their growth. Participate in discussions, engage with local representatives, and support organizations that champion the cause of small business owners. Your voice can make a significant impact on shaping policies.
If you can, consider providing financial assistance to small enterprises through microloans, crowdfunding campaigns, or participation in community-driven fundraising projects. Small business owners are often supported by banks, financial institutions, and government schemes. If it’s comfortable for you, your financial aid can assist entrepreneurs in overcoming financial constraints and fueling their growth.
Supporting small business owners in India is a collective responsibility that empowers communities, drives economic growth, instils confidence and an enterprising attitude in citizens, and boosts entrepreneurship. By implementing these tips, you can contribute to the success of local businesses, nurture a thriving ecosystem, and create a positive impact on the lives of entrepreneurs. Remember, it’s always small for the big win – a small step by us can be a win-win situation for all of us!
Image source: a still from the film English Vinglish
Multiple award winning blogger, influencer, author, multi-faceted entrepreneur, creative writing mentor, choreographer, social activist and a wanderer at heart read more...
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