In 2021, 36% of small business owners are women. Women-owned businesses dominate industries in the beauty, health, and fitness industry, according to research collected by What To Become. Many of the businesses women lead include food establishments and restaurants, retail stores, education-related businesses, and business services. 

As the typical care takers in society, women often don’t take the needed time to practice self care, as a result, their mental health can suffer. In addition, many women have started their own businesses in an effort to break free from social constraints found in today’s society.

“Women empowerment is more than just donating to worthy causes, it’s supporting and championing the women around you in ways that society simply doesn’t,” said Stephanie Sellers, CEO of Cookies & Dreams. “We understand that stress doesn’t happen in a vacuum, we support our fellow women by giving them the freedom to heal and balance, from inside and outside of work. Sometimes it’s the vulnerability that comes from feeling emotionally and physically safe in the workplace.”

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Mental Health

The hospitality industry is particularly known for having high rates of mental health and substance abuse issues. “As our company and platform grow, we want to use our voice to help those struggling and change the stigma surrounding mental health, in hopes of reducing the number of people in our industry that are battling these issues daily,” Sellers said.

According to research conducted by Unilever Food Solutions, the global supplier to the food and beverage industry that has taken an active interest in mental health in the industry, 74% of chefs are sleep deprived to the point of exhaustion, 63% of chefs feel depressed, and more than half feel pushed to the breaking point. 

“Mental health is an issue that is near to my heart due to personal struggles with my own mental wellness. In May, we featured a Green Velvet cookie of the week named The Hulk, which was in support of the strong individuals who struggle with mental health issues. This cookie benefited NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness),” said Sellers. 

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Financial Independence

Women are more likely to feel stressed about their business, according to data found from Legal Jobs. Around 26% of women have reported increased stress after starting their business, with nearly a third having nightmares about the venture failing.

Discrepancies exist when it comes to venture capital funding between men and women. In 2020, women founders received only 2.3% of the total capital invested in venture-backed startups in the U.S, according to a financial data and software company PitchBook. 

“In March, we donated a portion of our proceeds from our Lemon Poppyseed Cookie to Dress For Success which helps to empower women to achieve financial independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and life,” said Sellers.

Finding A Balance

For women in business looking to find a positive work/life balance, Sellers recommends, “It is important to know your priorities and know what you’re willing to sacrifice. If you’re not willing to sacrifice your weekly yoga date, find alternative ways to work around that or delegate tasks.”

Women have made an incredible effort to be present on the map of success when it comes to entrepreneurship in the last century. Women-owned businesses and female entrepreneurs have achieved an enormous amount of growth.

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Tips For Success

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether it’s with the kids, dogs, bookkeeping, house, mental health, physical health, social media, or even your website. Ask for help. Trying to do everything on your own is a recipe for disaster,” Sellers adds. “Business and success takes time, all of the ‘overnight success’ stories were years or decades in the making.” 

According to a report from VISA, 65% of female small business owners know another small business owner and 91% of those solicit advice from other female business owners. Studies show women continue to support other women-owned businesses.

“I use all of my experiences to fuel my fire. I am motivated to be successful but also to use my voice and use it loudly. I want to show the world and other women that they absolutely can own a business, follow their dreams, or go after that promotion,” Sellers said.