This month at GoForth Institute, we’re highlighting women in small business. With good reason, too – women own or manage 40% of Canada’s businesses and are starting small businesses at a record rate. However, with every type of entrepreneurship comes a unique set of challenges, and female entrepreneurs are no different.
What are the major challenges faced by women entrepreneurs?
A woman who starts a small business faces many of the same challenges encountered by any entrepreneur:
However, women who start small businesses also face a host of challenges unique to female entrepreneurs. Women are typically the primary caregivers of children and still tend to earn less than men, meaning that women starting a small business have even more to think about.
Giving women entrepreneurs the tools for small business success
At GoForth Institute, we’re entrepreneurs too. This means we’re committed to giving all entrepreneurs the tools they need to make sure the small business they’ve started has the best chances for success. We offer leading small business online learning programs, which are great for many women-owned small businesses – like home-based businesses. Women who have become self-employed or who have busy work/life schedules need only spare 10 hours in total to get comprehensive small business training from entrepreneurs who’ve been through the same things themselves!
The Canadian government is also making strides in supporting women in business, with initiatives such as business loans for female entrepreneurs and women-only networking events. Of course, businesses themselves love to support female entrepreneurs – check out the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards as an example.
If you’re a woman in business, what unique challenges have you faced? Let us know!
Canada has the highest proportion of self-employed women in the world! In Canada, 821,000 female entrepreneurs have provided 1.7 million jobs since 1996, proving that women make key contributions to their local and national economies, communities and families through small businesses they’ve started.
The success rate of female-owned micro-business higher than that of men.
“Micro-business” refers to businesses that have fewer than five employees. Home-based businesses and self-employed professionals often fit into this category. So why do micro-businesses operated by women have higher rates of success? In our research, we uncovered a few key differences in the way women entrepreneurs operate:
Women entrepreneurs as a whole undertake more research and planning in the pre-start-up stage of their businesses. We know that planning, research and preparation is associated with higher levels of success but why would women do more planning in business than men? Women are generally willing to spend more time to lower the risk of an action than are men.
Women are in general well organized and good time managers – additional demands placed on women due to their multiple and overlapping roles as wives, mothers, sisters, friends and business owners requires development of exceptional organizational and planning skills. These skills are transferred into their businesses.
Women tend to be more conservative and are better managers of cash flow and budgets, particularly in the early stages of business development. Why lease a new vehicle to look more successful when the old clunker will do just fine for now?
(Read more reasons for female-owned small business success in this month’s Message from the President – a female entrepreneur herself!)
Check out our May newsletter for more articles about outstanding female small business owners. Let’s hear from you – who are some female small business owners that inspire you? Are you a woman who has started a small business? Do you have any advice for women on how to start a small business? Leave a comment and let’s chat!