5 Reasons Why There Has Never Been A Better Time To Be A Female Entrepreneur

By Bailey Keppel

There has never been a better time than right now to be a woman in business. A women-owned businesses is one in which 51 percent or more of the company’s ownership lies with one or more women.

According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, women own more than 11.6 million companies (39 percent of privately held firms) in the U.S. This number has increased exponentially in the last several years, and it’s only going up.

A closer look at the data shows that Black women in particular are starting businesses faster than any other demographic which is exciting news, however that isn’t the full picture. Minority women are still very much excluded from the majority of funding when it comes to startups.

“Since 2007, the number of firms owned by African-American women has grown by 164%. Nearly half of women-owned businesses in the United States, or 44%, are controlled by minority women, according to Census data and projections by research firm Womenable. That’s up from 20% in 1997,” reported CNBC earlier in 2020.

“In venture capital, men still get the lion’s share of funding, with only 2% of capital going to U.S.-based female-only founder teams, according to PitchBook. Of the 2%, women of color get only a fraction.”

Additionally, Latina-owned small businesses are the fastest-growing segment of the business community in the United States.

“There are over two million Latina-owned businesses in the country, a growth of more than 87% since 2007, according to the National Women’s Business Council. These businesses are helping to fuel the U.S. economy,” reported Legalzoom earlier this year.

It’s clear that change needs to be made in the business world when it comes to funding, but women are not waiting around in the meantime. One of the biggest ways minority women are finding ways around the traditional roadblocks are through alternative funding ventures and resources created to specifically challenge the status quo.

Being a female-owned business owner is about more than just ownership. It means putting your best foot forward and getting the job done, especially when we can see many women have to overcome additional hurdles to get their business off the ground in the first place. Nevertheless, starting a business as a female entrepreneur today can be incredibly beneficial considering the numerous resources and tools available to help you succeed.

Let’s look at the top five reasons that right now is an excellent time to be a part of a women-owned business.

1. Companies Are Seeking Female Leadership

It’s 2020 and it’s no secret that women continue to excel professionally. One main reason for this is that women make exceptional leaders.

Think about it… we all know at least one wonderful woman in our lives who has stood out in a professional setting or leadership role. Perhaps your mom owns her own company or your wife is a lead nurse at a local hospital. There is something to be said about women’s leadership skills and the unique dynamic that they bring to the world of business.

A great example of this is exemplified in a study conducted by Western Governors University. This exploration found the following to be true in regard to women as leaders:

  • Women bring new and innovative ideas to the workplace
  • Women are successful at promoting cooperation rather than competition
  • Women are excellent at communicating
  • Women use relational knowledge to problem solve

While some may think of these traits as being unconventional for a resume, these skills have become strongly recognized over the years as vital business best practices.

“I don’t think of myself as a ‘woman in business.’ I just think of myself as a business owner.” -Deanna Scarpelli: CEO of Scarpelli Court Reporting Services

2. 2020 Offers Unique Resources for Women-Owned Businesses

There is an expansive collection of resources dedicated to women-owned businesses, which is a huge opportunity in itself. Different organizations provide different benefits, such as financial support, certification assistance, networking opportunities, and more.

One useful resource is the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). This organization is dedicated to certifying women-owned businesses, as well as providing female entrepreneurs with information and advocacy.

Another opportunity unique to women-owned businesses is the current social push to represent minority groups in the market. This social development—in combination with the effects of COVID-19—have emphasized the importance of growing local and online resources for female business owners.

We are currently seeing this play out in a vast collection of blogs, podcasts, career coaching sites, and other outlets aimed at lending a hand to businesswomen everywhere. As the popularity of women-owned businesses increases, more resources become available.

Check locally to see how you can get involved with networking events, female-focused online resources, podcasts, and other tools!

Here are a few sites to help you get started:

Bottom line? Today’s society is very encouraging of women in pursuit of business opportunities and ownership.

3. Funding Opportunities are Plentiful

Becoming a certified Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) or a Women Business Enterprise (WBE) has its benefits.

In order to qualify for the designations, the entity must have 51 percent female ownership. The WOSB certification is overseen by the Small Business Association (SBA) whereas the WBE certification is granted by local, state, or other government agencies.

The most pressing difference is that a business must be a WOSB in order to participate in federal funding programs.

Once certified, a woman-owned business retains the advantage of receiving additional financial support and opportunities to bid on contracts. The SBA states that “the federal government’s goal is to award at least five percent of all federal contracting dollars to women-owned small businesses each year.”

Additionally, there are hundreds of private-sector companies that offer grants to women-owned small businesses. These grants range from $2,000 to $150,000, so they are often a viable option for female entrepreneurs.

Check out a few of these grant opportunities below:

Many successful business owners have used funding opportunities, such as these, to get their company up and running. This is true for both male and female entrepreneurs.

Taking advantage of these funding opportunities to get ahead is a good idea, especially if the survival of your business depends on it.

4. Women Are Experiencing Financial Success

According to Professor Mauro Guillen of University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School Leadership and Management Certification program, the fastest growing segment of high-net-worth individuals right now is… you guessed it—women.

Yes, you read that right. 

As of 2020, women make up 27.9 percent of the total number of millionaires…and that number is projected to grow.

Out of the entire world’s population, the fastest growing demographic segment is high-net-worth women. High-net-worth individuals are defined as those with a total net worth between $500,000 and $1 million.

Meanwhile, Professor Guillen points out that “women of today enjoy better labor-market opportunities when compared to one, two, and three generations ago.”

This just goes to show that the success of these women in today’s marketplace should serve as an inspiration to women in business everywhere. Whether your company is large or small, female entrepreneurs are thriving.

5. Today’s Top 5 Women-Owned Industries are Thriving

As businesses begin to reopen during COVID-19, many customers are eager to safely support them. This means that restaurants, stores, salons, and other local small businesses are finally seeing more foot traffic and consumers.

It just so happens that several of these sectors are also the most popular out of all women-owned small businesses. In fact, a study conducted by Guidant Financial shows the top five industries led by women are as follows:

  1. Retail
  2. Health, Beauty, and Fitness
  3. Business Services
  4. Food and Restaurant
  5. Residential and Commercial Services

These industries were hit particularly hard in the beginning of 2020, and are now reemerging with the opportunity to reinvent themselves.

For women entrepreneurs waiting to jumpstart their small business, despite what the circumstances may look like due to COVID-19, now may be just the right time to start your business idea.

[This article was originally posted here and republished on GirlTalkHQ.com with permission.]

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