If there’s one thing that we know for sure, it’s that small businesses led by women haven’t always had an easy road. Female entrepreneurs often find themselves trusted, valued, and ultimately paid less than males in the same field, all while being forced to prove their worth at every turn. This level of bias can spell doom for some organizations, but for those who haven’t caved into the pressure, the future is bright.
A recent study shows that, out of over 200 female entrepreneurs involved, nearly 75% of them believe the coming year will be one of growth and expansion. What’s got them so confident? Increased capital, strong employees, and economic upswing are all factors in their sunny outlook, but that doesn’t mean that they’re immune to some of the same old setbacks we’ve seen across industries for years. In a lot of ways, it’s still a woman living in a man’s world.
As a business owner, success isn’t just an option—it’s your end goal, your guiding light, and the reason you get up and take on the day. When you’re managing something that important, it’s wise to understand what’s working best for fellow lady bosses, and to be mindful of the roadblocks standing in their way. Let’s take a closer look at what other female entrepreneurs have to say about the state of their business.
Taking the Good with the Bad
By and large, women at the helm of their companies are reportedly crushing it, particularly the younger crowd. An overwhelming majority of entrepreneurs that fall into the 22-37-year old “millennial” bracket report business confidence, to the tune of nearly 80%. Beyond that, female leaders have grown more assured in their necessary skills, from managing company funds to mitigating workplace issues and more. It’s a sign of growth for these individuals, the fields they serve, and society as a whole.
That’s not to say it’s all become sunshine and roses overnight. Over half of the women involved in this study have experienced some level of gender discrimination in business, and in some cases, it has severely impeded their progress. Grimmer still, over 40% find themselves stressing about their company’s long-term future, afraid the end may be closer than they anticipate. Many turn to good old-fashioned “elbow grease” (so to speak) when combating these problems, pushing harder than male competitors to achieve the same ends.
While no one should be held to different standards due to gender, that remains the resounding drawback for these fierce leaders, meaning that female entrepreneurs have not reached the apex of equality just yet. Regardless of economic factors like trade agreements and buyer confidence, many women in business are forced to aggressively work at building trust that’s handed to men more easily. Still, their impressive positivity could mean a new dawn is on the horizon.
The Main Takeaway
If there’s one tool in your arsenal that’s demonstrated effective by these findings, it’s rallying together. Female entrepreneurs are taking matters into their own hands by consulting with one another, taking solace in business networking as well as employing the support of those near and dear to them. You’ve likely heard the phrase “safety in numbers”—these ladies are proving that there is success in numbers, and in a career often fraught with isolation, this is definitely great news.
Another important element to their self-assurance is financial literacy. Many female business owners are finding themselves more and more capable of handling complicated fiscal decisions, and beyond that, nearly half of them are meeting regularly with a financial professional. These experts are trained in examining a business’ standing, identifying points of growth, and putting you on the path to success. If you haven’t reached out to one before now, join the masses of female leaders taking control of their organization’s future. It’s your business, so don’t be afraid to put yourself in the driver’s seat.