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Two words have never had more meaning than in today’s society. We’re not talking about #timesup, #metoo, or any nasty sexual harassment issues. Today, I’m talking about women supporting women and helping them succeed. I’m very honored to know, and work, for two successful women in their own right who believe in giving back and supporting other women, Amra & Azra Hajdarevic of Terra & Co.
I’m going to brag here a bit…probably to Amra’s embarrassment. My two previous blog posts gave you a bit of insight into Amra & Azra’s background, but that doesn’t even touch the surface about how driven these two ladies are, to not only have Terra & Co. succeed, but also to help out other women. These two ladies have seen more adversity than any person ever should growing up in war-torn Sarajevo, Bosnia. I won’t tell you the gory details, but some of their memories of what they witnessed are shocking and would bring a tear to anyone’s eyes. While some people that have seen such adversity choose the “victim” route in life, these two ladies refuse to use that as an excuse for anything, which says a ton about how their parents raised them.
Terra & Co. is a very young company. They have only been around for 1 year, but from day one, they decided they wanted to give back to other women…even before they made any profit. They decided that for every tube of Brilliant Black Activated Charcoal Toothpaste they sell, they would give one to the Los Angeles Downtown Women’s Center - LADWC (https://www.downtownwomenscenter.org). I asked Amra, how they decided to donate to the LADWC? The truth was kind of a process of elimination and truly a bit sad to me. Amra & Azra knew from the start that they wanted to give back to other women, so they set out and emailed a ton of organizations. None of which replied. I’m sorry, what? Yep. You heard me. There are so many women and families that need help and none of these organizations replied to a company wanting to help them out! However, the LADWC responded and Amra went to meet with them. What she saw broke her heart. She saw 50-60 women waiting in line to get food for their families. Immediately, Amra knew this was the organization she wanted to help.
I have known Amra for several years now and know what a selfless friend and human being she is. She cares so much for other people and our planet, the Brilliant Black Toothpaste is in a recyclable tube and their charcoal bristle toothbrush is bamboo (sustainable) and biodegradable. I hope reading this, you don’t view this as a puff piece. I’m sure Amra is probably going to be embarrassed after reading this and probably wouldn’t want me to post it. Thankfully, I have access to posting whatever I want…LOL I hope after reading this that you all take a minute to think about #1 how can you help others and #2 how can you help our planet.
Amra and Azra will be the first to tell you that everything has been a huge learning experience for them. Mistakes were made and expensive lessons learned. One way to help avoid this, is for current women business owners to mentor and help other women business owners. Terra & Co.’s mission is to create a business that will pay it forward and that can inspire and empower other women.
Here are a few facts about women owned businesses in the United States, According to the National Association of Women Business Owners:
- More than 9.4 million firms are owned by women, employing nearly 7.9 million people, and generating $1.5 trillion in sales as of 2015.
- Women-owned firms (51% or more) account for 31% of all privately held firms and contribute 14% of employment and 12% of revenues.
- Over the past seven years, the overall increase of 8.3 million (net) new jobs is comprised of a 9.2 million increase in employment in large, publicly traded corporations, combined with a 893,000 decline in employment among smaller, privately held companies.
- One in five firms with revenue of $1 million or more is woman-owned.
- 2% of all women-owned firms have revenues of 1 million or more. (nawbo.org)
While these are some impressive statistics, the only way to increase these numbers are for women to support other women. One icon I look up to is Cheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO. If you don’t know Cheryl, she wrote one of the most incredible books called Lean In and created a foundation to support women called LeanIn.org. Cheryl has also written another book titled Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. LeanIn.org’s primary initiative is establishing small community groups that empower women to act on their ambition. What an incredible human being Cheryl is.
Let’s all take a note from Amra, Azra and Cheryl Sandberg. Help other women succeed!
We would love to hear about how you, or someone you know is empowering other women or helping the planet. Let us know in the comments section.