To be an entrepreneur is an uphill battle in any case… no matter your idea, your sex or your background. But let’s be honest, it’s pretty demoralizing to be a female entrepreneur trying to build and innovate with little prospect of support. And that’s why we often give up (or don’t even get far enough to begin with). There are so many articles talking about leaning in, trying harder, etc. etc. etc. Well, here’s something to consider: all of womankind can have an effect in propping one another up. Here’s how:
Women as Ultimate Customers
Once upon a time we worked for an agency that had a chainsaw business as a client. And guess who the main target consumer was? A woman. Why? Because behind every man is a woman who can call foul on a purchase if she thinks it’s unsafe. So from chainsaws to home goods, big ticket purchases like houses and everything in between, women decide. And don’t take our word for it alone, according to the Boston Consulting Group, women will control close to 75% of discretionary spending worldwide by 2028. It’s important to know that whether we are talking about home goods or fashion items our buying power is fierce.
We Can Have One Another’s Back
We hear the stories, the grim stats, we see our friends and colleagues struggle and often just shrug our shoulders. But we can help. Do you know investors? Angel investors are a good start. Do you know someone with expertise that can fill the gaps? Maybe a friend just needs marketing support. Or a lawyer. Have your read a good article? Maybe saw a great government grant opportunity. The key is we are all in this together and can incrementally help one another out with wisdom, advice and connections.
Find Your Tribe as Female Entrepreneur
One of the most exciting advancements of late has been the rise of female-only networking organizations. Whether an entrepreneurial millennial or a 40-something mom building a business, digital networks of support abound. We’ve recently joined heymama and have seen opportunity and flowing through Google groups and in-person interactions. There are now physical clubs in addition to informal spaces, such as The Wing and The Luminary. Find your tribe and you will see why we are better together.
Use Your Spending Power Wisely
As the consumer (see point one) you can flex your muscle with your dollar (or pound, euro or yen). So spend wisely and on the businesses you believe in. Many of us are conscious shoppers but this is taking things to the next level. You can support the businesses your friends are staring and patronize the businesses started by the female entrepreneurs you read about. In either case, it’s up to us to build support from the ground up.
Don’t Give Up Being an Entrepreneur
No matter what the positive spin, being a female entrepreneur is ridiculously hard. In the age of technology we think of it as something new, but woman have been shop owners, restauranteurs and everything in between for ages. Being a business owner. Being an entrepreneur. It’s nothing new and support exists when you choose to look for it. Believe in yourself and your network of peers, friends, families and consumers and you can find success.