We are living in an incredible time in history, where it’s now easier to launch our businesses.
For women, there's no better time to be alive because there are plenty of available resources tailored to their start-ups.
That said, while it’s seemingly easy for women to launch a start-up in this day and age, there’s a little more to it and still some gender bias.
For starters, you need to know whether you're cut out for entrepreneurship. You need to be determined, self-motivated, have incredible drive and be able to handle setbacks as well as accept some level of risk. If you think you have the skills it takes and have an unshakeable ambition to succeed in the business world by yourself, then entrepreneurship could be for you.
So how do you get your idea off the ground and make it a success?
While I agree there’s no exact recipe for entrepreneurial success, what I do know is there are several ways to access the invaluable support and motivation you need to create a thriving business.
Here are some valuable resources that will allow you to get your business off the ground.
Choosing a business fit for you
If you truly have a burning desire in becoming a female entrepreneur, you’ll first need to lay a critical foundation and decide which business model to pursue.
While this is certainly a basic requirement, it’s not always an easy task.
More often than not, your decision on the exact business to pursue will depend on your goals or purpose.
You need to ask yourself why you desire to start your own business. Reflecting on the purpose will help to inspire some of the business ideas.
Perhaps you have young children at home and wish for your own business to fit around motherhood. This will limit somewhat the business opportunities available to you. If you need to be home in the day time to look after your children, or undertaking school runs, then you won’t be able to be out on the road visiting clients at the drop of a hat. This means your business could need a good degree of flexibility to fit around your current lifestyle.
Aside from purpose, you also need to consider your skillset.
Generally, it's always a good idea to start a business in which you feel you're acquainted or have the necessary skills to run successfully. Otherwise your first action should be retraining to get the skillset needed.
Planning your finances
Funding is probably the biggest challenge that start-ups normally face. And when funding is available, it can be more difficult to secure.
But there are options available if you have a solid business plan. If you need to raise capital then check the unique funding options for women business owners; these are unique programs that are explicitly tailored for the modern-day woman who wants to get into entrepreneurship.
Sure, while some of the individuals are lucky, and might have saved enough money to get the ball rolling, but even if you have a strong start, you're likely to run out faster than you anticipated.
That said, investment for starting a business is not always just about the money- it can also include training, mentorship, experience, and networking.
You might have the vision and a business plan ready, but if you don’t have other supporting elements, then it becomes even harder to make progress.
Generally, you should take the initiative in connecting with the right people. There are numerous social networking events for female entrepreneurs and start-ups. It's now easier than ever to project your goals to the right people.
Apply for government incentives
With the governments now acknowledging the role a woman has in the society, there’re making efforts to create subsidiary programs and incentives to the women entrepreneurs.
Make a point of capitalizing on the social-economic programs that offer special grants to women entrepreneurs setting start-ups.
Generally, these incentive measures will help to lower your operating costs drastically, which is a good thing as it will spruce your growth much faster.
For example, The Cartier Women's Initiative Award is open worldwide giving 21 female entrepreneurs $100,000 each to catapult their start-up into success. It also gives them coaching and valuable training to help them succeed.
Overcoming social stigma
Generally, societal norms expect women to behave differently than men, and this includes running their businesses.
However, to survive the world of business, you need to have a high level of competitiveness, assertiveness and even a little bit of aggressiveness.
You need to rise past the stereotype that is still prevalent in modern-day society. Be confident and assert yourself.
Remember that success in business always takes grit, regardless of gender, so never be ashamed of standing tall, especially in the face of criticism.
Whilst it’s easier than ever for us to start our own businesses in this digital connected age, it’s shocking to read that only one in five start-ups that receive investment is founded by a woman. Society still definitely has a gender bias when it comes to female entrepreneurship, but it’s promising to see initiatives that support female entrepreneurship and showcase how amazingly business minded we really are!
Follow the tips above, seek the support you need to get your business off the ground and show the world just how successful you are.
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