Of the many things we’re proud of here at Storm Creek, one of the most important is that we’re a certified Women-Owned business.
We’ve been women-owned “on paper” since 2014 and received our certification from WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council) as a Women-Owned Business in 2021.
What “Women-Owned” Means
WBENC requires a stringent certification process in order for a company to receive certification as women-owned. This includes thorough vetting, a review of business documents and a site visit. It’s not enough for one or more women to have majority ownership of a company, it must also be controlled, operated and managed by one or more women in order to qualify.
It needs to show “a demonstrated management of day-to-day operations, and a proportionate investment of capital or expertise,” says the WBENC website.
There are plenty of reasons why other corporations, distributors and individual consumers might choose to partner with and purchase from a women-owned business:
Support of Diversity
While the number of women-owned businesses has been steadily growing, we still only represent one in five US companies with employees, according to the US Census Bureau. (That number jumps to 42% when we include self-employed women.)
Along with minority-owned and veteran-owned, buying from and partnering with women-owned companies supports diversity in the marketplace, making that marketplace healthier overall. Many corporations and consumers look for women-owned businesses to give their dollars or contracts to in order to see a better reflection of our diverse society in the business world.
It’s always good to bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the table—whether in an individual company or an industry. Our story is that when co-owner Teresa Fudenberg came on board, becoming women-owned was part of the changing business model of Storm Creek. She brought a dynamic new skill set that helped ignite new ideas and growth. With both women and men in leadership, we have a well-rounded team with everyone leaning into their strengths.
Fudenberg recalls, “There is something to be said about women’s leadership skills and the unique dynamic that they bring to the companies they lead. Some of these traits aren’t your typical ‘resume listings’ but I feel they are vital to business success, employee satisfaction, and even brand reputation.” She goes on to say, “Studies show women owners to be more innovative, excellent communicators and collaborators, strong relationship builders, more emotionally intelligent, and less ego-driven. Typically, we’ve pushed through a lot of (often undetectable) barriers to get to this role and want to ensure those around them feel empowered and equal.”
Diversity isn’t just a numbers game or a percentage, it’s a true widening of perspective and innovation that produces solid company-wide advantages.
A longer-range but just as important impact that women-owned companies can have is to be role models for the next generation of women. The best way to inspire girls and women in entrepreneurship is for them to see positive female role models in leadership roles.
This article from Forbes.com highlights three research-backed benefits female role models bring to women:
- They represent and expand the possibilities. When one female sees another in a leadership role, no matter the industry, it sparks something inside that says, “I could do that, too!”
- Role models inspire ambition and higher aims. Society’s thinking about what women are capable of has certainly evolved over time. We’re proud to be part of helping women shoot higher and further than previous generations.
- They show the thinking and actions it takes to rise to those levels. As leaders in women-owned companies share their stories, it opens the door for others to start to think and act along those lines as well.
We’ve touched on this already, but it deserves its own heading. Many women-owned businesses are committed to strengthening the community around them. That’s been one of Storm Creek’s core values all along.
Teresa states, “It’s no surprise to me that a majority of women business owners are focused on creating businesses that are socially responsible and environmentally sustainable, which certainly contributes to a better world. My personal values are so aligned with Storm Creek’s company values and mission, and I can’t imagine it being any other way! I hope my passion is an inspiration to other female entrepreneurs.”
Strengthening the surrounding community happens through providing more jobs, pumping more dollars into the local economy, offering healthy role models, and building partnerships with charitable organizations and other local businesses.
It’s for all these reasons that we’re committed to and proud to be Women-Owned.