Self-Confidence, Mentors and Passion Can Help Women With Small Business Dreams

By David Kiger

There are encouraging signs for women looking to start a small business. Take the results from American Express’ OPEN Forum 2016 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report. Among the results:

  • Businesses owned by women increased by 42 percent from 2007 to 2016.
  • Women started 1,072 new businesses a day in that time span.
  • There are more than 11.3 million women-owned businesses that generate more than $1.6 trillion and employ nearly 9 million people.

“We are pleased to see the continued rise of the vital role that women-owned businesses play in our country’s post-recession recovery,” American Express’ Susan Sobbot said in a press release. “We are inspired by these women who are continuing to pursue their entrepreneurial passions, and are strengthening our communities and economy even further.”

Some challenges remain for women wanting to explore their entrepreneurial interests. Here are some tips on how to tackle these potential hurdles.

Keep moving

The bold spirit of innovation can play a huge role in entrepreneurial pursuits. It takes courage to put yourself out there and start a new venture, with all the responsibilities and obligations that go along with it. In a story for Entrepreneur, Victoria Cairl, vice president of business development at Show-Score, advises women “to be the unstoppable force that makes the future what you want it to be.”

“Pursue your passion and don’t get deterred if it is in a historically male-dominated field,” she explains. “I was told early in my career that there aren’t many women executives in the entertainment industry, and that only made me want to move forward more. I knew merging entertainment and tech was the future, so I buckled down to learn everything I could about tech. Don’t wait for evolution, just evolve.”

Be yourself

Those two words may sound a bit obvious. But it’s important to maintain a strong sense of self in business, and adhere to the values and methods that got you there. And, as Paula Fernandes writes for Business News Daily, “defying social expectations” can be a big part of that. She uses a networking event as an example:

“You walk into a crowded seminar and can count the number of women there on one hand. When women entrepreneurs talk business with primarily male executives, it can be unnerving. In this sort of situation, women may feel as though they need to adopt a stereotypically ‘male’ attitude toward business: competitive, aggressive and sometimes overly harsh. But successful female CEOs believe that remaining true to yourself and finding your own voice are the keys to rising above preconceived expectations.”

Fernandes quotes Hilary Genga, founder and CEO of Trunkettes, a women’s swimwear company: “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.”

Facing fears

Everyone has some level of self-doubt. For those trying to determine if a small business is a realistic option, fear can emerge as a major obstacle. Fernandes cites Babson College’s Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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