- Women entrepreneurs own approximately ten million businesses in the U.S., which has doubled since 2007.
- Female entrepreneurs face challenges, including limited access to funding, lack of support, and gender bias.
- They also struggle to balance work and family responsibilities and often have fewer resources than their male counterparts.
- Women in business must file taxes properly, use tax incentives, and separate personal and business taxes accurately.
- Building a strong network, effective marketing, and public speaking are critical strategies for female entrepreneurs to overcome these obstacles.
Starting and managing a business is no easy task, but it becomes even harder for women entrepreneurs. Despite the progress in gender equality, female-owned businesses still face many disadvantages. Here’s what you need to know about female-owned businesses today, why they are at a disadvantage and ways to get ahead as a woman in business.
Female-Owned Businesses Today
It’s estimated that women in the United States currently own about ten million businesses. According to the National Women’s Business Council, that’s an increase of 5 million since 2007. Furthermore, about 8 out of 10 female-owned businesses have no paid employees. Many women entrepreneurs rely on themselves and their skills to build and grow their businesses.
Reasons Female Entrepreneurs Face Disadvantages
Despite recent progress, female entrepreneurs still face certain disadvantages. Here are some of them:
1. Limited Access to Funding
One of the biggest challenges female entrepreneurs face is securing funding. According to a National Women’s Business Council study, women-owned businesses receive only 4.4% of the total small business loans. This can be attributed to several factors, such as women having less collateral and less credit history due to their traditional caretaker roles. Consequently, it becomes more difficult for female entrepreneurs to scale and grow their businesses.
2. Lack of Support and Networking
Another disadvantage many female entrepreneurs face is the lack of support and networking opportunities. Women have traditionally been underrepresented in entrepreneurship, making it harder for female entrepreneurs to connect with investors, mentors, and fellow entrepreneurs. This lack of support can lead to feelings of isolation and a lack of confidence in one’s business idea.
3. Gender Bias and Stereotyping
Gender bias and stereotyping are still prevalent in today’s society and can hinder female entrepreneurs’ progress. Women entrepreneurs often face discrimination and are not taken seriously, leading to difficulties securing financing and contracts. This can harm their businesses’ growth and limit their potential for success.
4. Balancing Work and Family
Women entrepreneurs are often expected to balance their work with traditional family responsibilities. This can be a significant disadvantage, as they face challenges juggling work and family commitments, which can take a toll on their businesses’ growth.
5. Lack of Resources
The lack of resources is another significant disadvantage female entrepreneurs face. Women-owned businesses generally have less access to resources than their male counterparts. This can limit their ability to research and develop their products or services, market their businesses, and reach their target audience.
Ways to Get Ahead
As a female entrepreneur, you need every advantage you can get to be successful. Here are some tips to help you get ahead:
Start With Your Taxes
It’s important that your business is registered correctly and that your taxes are filed on time. This will ensure everything is in order before you grow your business. Ensure you’re also taking advantage of tax incentives such as the Women-Owned Business Deduction, which allows you to deduct up to $5,000 of your startup costs from your taxes. To start, you should use a reliable personal tax calculator. The calculator can help you separate business and personal taxes. You can make more accurate estimates once you can tell your tax from your business’ tax.
Build a Strong Support Network
Building a strong support network is essential for female entrepreneurs. Seek mentors, female peers, and other professionals who can advise and guide you on the challenges you face in your business. Having the right people by your side will give you confidence and make navigating the complexities of business ownership easier.
Market Yourself and Your Business
Marketing yourself and your business is critical for success as a female entrepreneur. Utilize digital marketing tactics such as email campaigns, blog posts, and social media to get your name out there and reach more customers. You should also use networking events to connect with potential clients or investors. Finally, don’t forget to use public speaking opportunities to make your voice heard and share your story.
Despite their considerable challenges, women entrepreneurs are making significant inroads in the business world. They use their unique skills and perspectives to create and mold successful enterprises. It’s important to keep breaking down the barriers hindering their progress and create a more inclusive environment for female entrepreneurship. While the journey may be tough, with the right resources, network, and determination, women entrepreneurs have the potential to thrive and make a lasting impact in their respective industries. Their success contributes to economic growth and paves the way for future generations of women entrepreneurs.