For more than 100 years, the world has celebrated March 8 as International Women’s Day, powered by the collective efforts of all. Originally established in 1911, the day seeks to promote unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy, and action on a global level. While its popularity has waxed and waned over the decades, it was bolstered in 2011 with the declaration that the month of March shall also be celebrated as Women’s History Month.

This year’s theme is Each for Equal, a call to celebrate women’s achievement and raise awareness against bias; an equal world is an enabled world. In the consummate race for a gender equal boardroom, workplaces, and more, equality has become more than just a women’s issue, but also a business issue.

In 1972 only 4.6% of businesses were women-owned; fast forward to 2019 which found 13 million businesses owned by women, representing a whopping 42% of all businesses while employing 9.4 million people and generating $1.9 trillion in revenue.

The road to business ownership isn’t easy for anyone and women often face additional obstacles. In celebration of International Women’s Day, we sat down with some of the Richmond-area businesswomen behind some of your favorite businesses to discuss what that road has looked like for them.

Woman in wool shop with play button