Why We Need to Work Together to Support Female-led Businesses
Here at UHS, we admire female entrepreneurs that are creatively producing innovative solutions and ideas that positively change our world. We also celebrate that there has never been a better time for female entrepreneurship. In fact, women make up 40% of new entreprenuers, own more than 11 million U.S firms, and generate $1.7 trillion in sales, according to a 2017 study by the National Association of Women and Business Owners. As a proud female-led business ourselves, we want to keep this ball rolling!
However, as a 100% female owned and operated business we understand that women are still in the minority and face challenges that impede on the success of they businesses. One of these issues is a lack of investments in female CEO’s. Right now, female CEO’s represent less than 3% of venture capital funded companies according to Boston Consulting Group. This statistic is especially perplexing considering that research has also determined that women-led businesses often outperform their peers.
So, what can we do to address the issue of limited access to funding? The first step has to be raising awareness of the issue within our own communities. It’s not that this problem isn’t being addressed, but rather it’s that most people, men and women included, aren’t even seeing that it exists. Simply chatting about female-led businesses that you love is an impactful way to drive business and highlight female empowerment.
Next, is to get more women supporting one another through investing. Right now, the number of men investing in the stock market, entrepreneurs, and venture capital significantly outweighs that of women. Even though women are owning and participating in business ventures more than ever before, they are not participating in investing activities. Shifting this behavior could be a powerful start to empower more women in business.
Successful female entrepreneur Hilary Genga, founder and CEO of swimwear company Trunkkettes, offered advice to aspiring women in business. She said, “Be yourself and have confidence in who you are. You made it to where you are through hard work and perseverance, but most importantly, you're there. Don't conform yourself to a man's idea of what a leader should look like," (businessnewsdaily.com).