What started as a meet-up for coffee for Dough co-founder and CEO Vanessa Bruce soon developed into a movement to shop women-owned businesses. And so Dough launched in June of 2018 to promote and support products and services owned and run by women and to facilitate a community that empowers people to shop women-owned.
Bruce is no stranger to the world of business. For years, she worked as a designer for startups, eventually moving to launch her startup agency to bring small brands to life. What should have been a new and exciting venture became a clear view of the disparity between women and men in business— especially in the world of startups.
“I saw a lot of the hurdles that women faced in business,” Bruce noticed, “From pay opportunity gaps to even investment dollars.”
Today, female CEOs receive only 2.7 percent of all venture funding, with women of color receiving only 0.2%, a dismal number considering 78% of new women-owned businesses are owned by women of color. Add to that the cost of products for women cost on average 7% more than those for men, and the fact that women control 80% of consumer-driven purchases and the gaps in economic equity for women become clear as day.
So what can be done? How can consumers and companies work to establish equity for women-owned businesses? We sat down with Bruce to chat about the work being done at Dough to encourage shopping women-owned and how you as a consumer can do your part as well in celebration of Equal Pay Day on March 24th and beyond.