Female Entrepreneur, how to be the Best Version of Yourself
“While the numbers are growing, there are still too few female investors and startup entrepreneurs, making it more challenging to raise capital and find mentors,” says Megan Smyth, CEO and co-founder of FitReserve. Although more women are embracing entrepreneurship, the female entrepreneur often faces challenges not typically shared by her male counterparts.
In this blog, I will first list 7 challenges that female entrepreneurs face. Then, I will list 5 actions you can take to break that glass ceiling. I hope this blog helps you to continue to rock your business or to start the business you have always wanted.
7 challenges the female entrepreneur faces
According to Paula Fernandes, these are the key challenges that the female entrepreneur faces. In her article, you can read how other female entrepreneurs have struggled with and overcome these challenges.
1. Defying social expectations
When women entrepreneurs talk business with primarily male executives, it can be unnerving. Women may feel as though they need to adopt a stereotypically “male” attitude toward business: competitive, aggressive, and sometimes overly harsh. However, successful female CEOs believe that remaining true to yourself and finding your own voice are the keys to rising above preconceived expectations.
2. Limited access to funding
Those who look for investors to help get their businesses off the ground know how difficult the pitching process can be. Raising capital is even more difficult for women-owned firms. A 2014 Babson College report has found that less than 3 percent of venture-capital-funded companies had female CEOs.
3. Playing with the boys
Most would consider any given field to be male-dominated. It is even more of a challenge when you are coming in as a female having to give direction to males that may not want any direction.
4. Owning your accomplishments
The communal, consensus-building qualities encouraged in young girls can leave women unintentionally downplaying their own worth.
5. Building a support network
Forty-eight percent of US female founders report that a lack of available advisors and mentors limits their professional growth.
6. Balancing business and family life
Work-life balance is a goal of many entrepreneurs regardless of their gender, but mothers who start businesses have to simultaneously run their families and their companies. And in this area, traditional gender expectations often still prevail.
7. Coping with a fear of failure
According to Babson College’s 2012 Global Entrepreneur Monitor, the fear of failure is the top concern of women who launch startups.
Female entrepreneur, break the glass ceiling with these 5 strategies
According to Catalyst, women only make up 15.4 percent of CEO positions and 33 percent of senior management roles. It is time to break that glass ceiling!
There are many ways to build confidence and power as a female entrepreneur. Unfortunately, some women still feel like they have to prove themselves to peers and clients, but with these strategies from Stephanie Chung, you will feel empowered to take risks and create a competitive business that outshines those of others.
1. Female entrepreneur, be bold!
Women business owners are often seen as too nice or too cold. It can be difficult to find the perfect balance. You want to be taken seriously but you also want to be friendly and approachable. That means you must always be yourself yet find ways to express your boldness, such as giving your expert opinion in meetings, making executive decisions, and trying risky strategies.
2. Network with other women
Talking to other successful women can be a very constructive experience. Meeting other leaders like yourself inspires creativity, builds knowledge, and makes your future business goals seem attainable. Attending panels, having group discussions, and interacting with influential women can boost your confidence, help you discover several ways to improve your business, and build motivation.
I am always happy to connect with other female entrepreneurs. I feel that we can learn a lot from each other. Feel free to connect with me on Twitter: @GdenHolder.
3. Show passion for your work
Your business is most likely your passion in life. Do not be afraid to show that passion. When talking about your business and team, your excitement will make people want to learn more and see what you are doing to make such a fulfilling company and workplace.
4. Female entrepreneur, promote yourself
There is always a way to promote yourself and your brand. Having an active social media account and a marketing team is one way to promote your company. However, do not forget to give yourself attention by handing out business cards at networking events, by being open to interviews with reporters seeking expert advice, and by being nominated for business awards. This will help you and your company gain recognition and give you a chance to leverage such honors when competing against other companies.
5. Cultivate a variety of mentors
Remind yourself that you are not alone in your business venture. It is extremely beneficial to have a network of people you can rely on for different advice. Whether it is a current or former boss, your college professors or even an executive coach, there will always be people ready to help you grow your business. Connecting with other experienced people or experts will be hugely helpful for future reference and will also help you make smarter business decisions.
Female entrepreneur, you are an expert at doing more with less
I hope that this blog makes you realize that you are not alone in this male-dominated business world. You are not the only one facing these challenges. Together, we are stronger. So, find some local network groups or online, and start making your business dreams come true!
Did you know that simply being a female entrepreneur already gives you a competitive advantage? Yes! Apparently, women entrepreneurs are experts at doing more with less. Make sure to use that advantage!
Finally, my blog post ‘15 Fascinating Resources for the Female Entrepreneur’ might be able to help.