No doubt, women are crucial to economic growth around the world. Unlike men women entrepreneurs see the world through a different lens. For example, in the case of Coco Chanel, she learned to be a seamstress at a very young age or Oprah Winfrey for instance, whose media business aims to help women reach their full potential.
However the numbers speak a little differently. As per the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, there are 126 million women operating new businesses and another 98 million running established ones. Yet, around the world there is a major gap with only 7 countries where women partake in business at rates equal to men.
Here in the United States women own 3 out of 10 firms, yet only employ 6% of the nation’s workforce and account for only 4% of business revenues.
That’s actually not that surprising since it’s no secret that women in business face many obstacles, from finding work-life balance to securing financing to start or grow their company.
There are three priorities that need to be in place to support women entrepreneurs.
1. Access to capital from financial institutions or micro-finance providers, as small loans can make a big difference.
2. Support from experienced mentors and trusted advisors to share industry insight and provide guidance.
For example, at WBEC-West, we’ve seen firsthand that women entrepreneurs will often network with other women at our quarterly matchmaking events – it doesn’t matter if one woman runs a printing business and the other is a contractor – most of us face similar challenges and we can all learn from one another.
3. Business Education, entrepreneurial learning and financial planning for women is critical to give women the confidence to see large-scale ideas through and learn the skills they need to manage their business and in turn pay it forward by becoming mentors for other women.
To assist women business owners procure more business from corporations and Federal agencies, WBEC-West provides certification for women-owned businesses, helping them get ahead of the game. Want to learn more? Click here.