Everyone can start a business, but do women have a different experience on their journey to entrepreneurship? Many generations of women have faced barriers in the traditional workplace, so it’s no surprise that enterprising women have founded their own companies instead. Female entrepreneurs can enjoy more control over their careers by working for themselves.
Learn all about starting and operating a business as an entrepreneur. Any demographic can build a successful company, but we’ll take a look at what might be especially appealing to female entrepreneurs. Next, dig into four different types of entrepreneurship, learning what makes each format slightly different and how women can be especially successful. Whether you’re curious about starting your own business, or you know a woman who would be a great CEO, explore the options and start chasing dreams.
4 Ways Women Can Succeed As Entrepreneurs
Anyone can start a company, but that doesn’t mean that everyone’s business experience will be the same. Many women have historically faced hurdles in the workplace. Discrimination, sexual harassment, lack of opportunities, and pay differentials have impacted many careers. However, these difficulties have never stopped driven women from striving for their dreams. Today’s business landscape offers many opportunities for entrepreneurial women to make their mark. Learn more about entrepreneurs and explore four types of business development where women can excel.
What Is An Entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurs are business people who found a business and continue to operate this company once it’s established. Unlike think tanks, an entrepreneur is invested in the company for the long haul. When a brand is successful, entrepreneurs usually remain involved as the president, CEO, or another top-level leader.
You can find entrepreneurs in every industry and demographic. Anyone can start a business and develop it on their own timeline, so every entrepreneur has a unique career path. Most spend the early stages of their enterprise as a single-person operation, where the entrepreneur is responsible for everything. This multitasking helps entrepreneurs gain hands-on understanding and experience in the field.
Why Women Are Drawn To Become Entrepreneurs
Women start businesses for a variety of reasons. Some women show a very clear business acumen throughout their lives. They may have operated lemonade stands as girls, always held a part-time job during school, and founded their first company as young adults. As in all demographics, these natural business stars gravitate towards doing what they love.
Similarly, some female entrepreneurs start businesses because they discover a market opportunity. These women may have never planned to run their own company, but then they uncovered an idea that was too good to ignore. Whether they thought of a new product, service, software application, or another offering, such entrepreneurs make their idea into a reality.
Other women become entrepreneurs in response to subtle social stresses and pressures in the workplace. Women face disproportionate responsibilities for providing unpaid family care, a gender role that has been proven to depress lifetime earnings. Babysitting siblings, staying home with young children, and caring for elder family members can make it hard for many women of all ages to remain in the traditional workforce. Women who start their own businesses can exert more control over their careers despite the other factors in their lives.
Types Of Entrepreneurship
As you consider starting your own company, explore four of the most common kinds of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs can succeed in any of these formats. We’ll also explore how women can particularly benefit in each arena.
Small Business Entrepreneurs
Most people who start their own company are considered small business entrepreneurs. A small business is any company that’s opened as a stand-alone operation. Such enterprises may eventually grow into large corporations, but this isn’t the founder’s original intent. Many small businesses are started as side businesses or even as hobbies, although some entrepreneurs do run their company as a full-time commitment from the beginning.
Like the name implies, a small business is often a lean operation. Small business entrepreneurs may be the only employee for years, so these professionals need strong time management and adaptability skills. Small businesses are often self-funded through personal savings, loans, or bootstrapping.
Why Women Are Great In Small Business
- Small businesses offer many benefits for female entrepreneurs. Some areas allow women and other historically marginalized groups to register their businesses on diversity lists to receive increased visibility in the business community. These programs aim to make markets more equitable and can level the playing field for a new company.
- Women can also start their small businesses at a scale that fits their responsibilities. An entrepreneur who’s busy with a full-time job, family obligations, and social commitments can still work on her company as time allows. This flexibility helps women work towards their goals whenever possible.
Scalable entrepreneurs might start small, but they have big plans. These businesses are founded with rapid growth and fast profit in mind. Scalable companies and start-ups are often based in the technology industry. Founders may seek venture capital funding with the aim of being bought out by larger companies.
Why Women Are Great In Scalable Start-Ups
Start-ups and scalable companies have brought powerful changes to the business world as well as to broader society. Women who see a gap in the current market can jump on this opportunity, potentially disrupting industries and changing the world.
It might sound like a contradiction in terms, but the entrepreneurial mindset has a home in the corporate world. Corporate entrepreneurs guide companies through major evolutions, such as adding a brand new product line, rebranding, or merging with a competitor. These professionals are typically high-ranking executives, but they need all the same innovative, forward-thinking skills as small business entrepreneurs.
Why Women Are Great Corporate Entrepreneurs
- Female executives can bring a diverse perspective to the table, allowing their employers to navigate new markets, products, and audiences. Women with high-level corporate experience as well as previous small business owners make powerful corporate entrepreneurs.
Social entrepreneurs are focused on creating social change, not strictly on making a profit. These professionals may start formal non-profit organizations, or they may found traditional businesses with a socially-minded mission, but the overall goal includes helping others. Social entrepreneurs typically select one particular cause to support through this work.
Why Women Are Great Social Entrepreneurs
- Women have a long history of impacting society through advocacy and social changes. Movements such as labor rights, abolition, Prohibition, environmental issues, voting rights, and modern social issues have been driven by women. Today’s socially-minded female entrepreneurs can found businesses or non-profits that continue this legacy.