Why do women want to become entrepreneurs?
I asked a couple that are in my graduate program and most common responses were to have freedom, be their own boss, and to hopefully empower other women to become entrepreneurs themselves. Personally, I have enjoyed to see the growth in female business owners over the last few years. In fact, I have been working close with two sisters on a gourmet ice cream business where we have a very niche product that is offered by other companies (that’s to be discussed in a later blog post).
In 2013, Cox conducted a survey that was given to 624 women entrepreneurs and business owners in North America. The survey asked the women participants various well-being questions in regards to business.
Good To Be The Boss
When asked to select all the factors that drove their decision to open a small business, being the boss topped the list, factors included:
61% – to be their own boss
52% – to be in control of their “own destiny”
47% – To pursue their passion
32% – To make more than I could working for someone else
28% – To spend more time with family and children
14% – Lack of opportunity to advance in the corporate world
14% – To solve an unmet market need
10% To build a family owned business
The common theme amongst the top responses is that these women entrepreneurs wanted to better their current standing and have more freedom to grow without any restrictions holding them down.
Is the gap gone?
Even with the growing numbers of women becoming small business owners, 85% of the survey respondents believe there are still multiple business challenges that are unique to women entrepreneurs. Those challenges include gender bias, bigger workload, lack of opportunity in certain industries, and access to funding.
73% – Gender bias
71% – Bigger workload
55% – Lack of opportunity in certain industries
41% – Access to funding
These results about the gap are not surprising except for the last question about “Access to funding”. There is a lot of funding currently for women owned business’.
If I knew then…
Nearly all women business owners, approximately 92% would still start their own business if they had to do it all over again. Most would also encourage other young women to join the ranks of the women entrepreneurs.
42% – Yes, but after they have worked for someone else.
32% Yes, it is the only way to go.
23% Yes, on my good days.
3% – No, not if they want a life!
I was able to interview a few of the women entrepreneurs that are enrolled in my current graduate program. One question I asked each of them was what advice would your future self tell your past self? They most commonly answered by saying, “Trust yourself, trust your instincts, start small, and worry less and enjoy more.” The next question I asked was what did they want most from the business they hope to create? One of the girls mentioned that she wanted to be more in power, be the boss, and have control of the decisions being made. A more common answer was having the goal of creating a better work and life balance.