If you are reading this post, you may be a woman entrepreneur. Or you plan to become one. Or maybe you are her husband? Business mothers, entrepreneurs in skirts, women entrepreneurs…
The number of women business owners is steadily increasing.
And according to statistics, women in business succeed.
Who are these women and what exactly do they do? What motivates women to do business? Why does it matter to them at all? Read on and be prepared for unexpected discoveries. The following information will probably destroy your stereotypes.
The myth of business moms
We all know the story of a business mother: a woman becomes a mother, quits her job and starts her own little business right in her kitchen: writing a blog, knitting sweaters or baking cookies. Over time, business grows, bringing more satisfaction and happiness to women. And everything is fine.
But this story is nothing but a misleading myth. Many women who own a business do note that they have started their own business in order to be able to work (and earn money) during maternity leave. But this is only one side of the story.
Undoubtedly, business owners’ working hours can be quite flexible, but at the same time, business mothers need to work as many hours as childless entrepreneurs to develop their business. On the other hand, have you ever heard of business fears? I don’t think so. Because the fathers who own a business are ordinary entrepreneurs.
So why do they talk and write so much about women entrepreneurs? Does gender matter in business matters? If we look at the figures, we will see what has happened.
Women’s entrepreneurship in numbers
It’s easy to start a business. It’s hard to support its sustainable development. But according to the statistics, women are doing a great job. In 2015, in the United States, 31% of small businesses and 9.1 million companies (both small and large) were owned by women.
According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitoring Project’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Special Report, the number of businesses owned by women worldwide increased by 7% between 2012 and 2014, resulting in a 6% decrease in the number of businesses owned by men and women.
And according to the results of the study “Status of Women-Owned Businesses (2016)”, conducted on behalf of American Express OPEN, the number of women who own businesses in the U.S. increased by as much as 54% between 1997 and 2016.
The success of women-owned businesses
Still reading? Okay. (Laughs) Here’s the first surprising fact: despite the fact that between 2007 and 2012 the number of employed people in the U.S. decreased by 1.2% and only the largest companies showed economic growth, the number of employed in companies owned by women increased by at least 18% in all industries.
Impressive, isn’t it? During the rise in unemployment and the downsizing of small businesses, women entrepreneurs created jobs! And a lot! The income of businesses owned by women has increased by 35 per cent since 2007, which is 30 per cent higher than the national level.
Given the above figures, women seem to be better at doing business, whether they are owners of small or large enterprises. How is this possible? There seem to be 3 reasons for this.
Women make more productive teams.
According to Gallup’s “State of the American Manager” report, women are more motivated and motivated than men.
Female managers give an honest assessment of employees’ performance, criticize them constructively and seem to be more likely to notice their achievements and praise them for good work.
All this contributes to more productive work of employees and better team performance. These are the key aspects of successful business development.
Women want sustainable development.
According to the Barclays Bank’s study “Breaking stereotypes”, published in 2015, sustainable development is more important for women entrepreneurs than for men.
Women do not want to grow rapidly and sell their businesses profitably; they are more interested in making a profit over a long period of time. That’s why women are more anticipatory, risk-averse and more cautious.
Women tend to underestimate.
This is a stereotype that seems to be true: women tend to be undervalued, while men are overconfident.
In one survey, 42% of women and 62% of men answered the question about their business status that it “thrives” when, in fact, female-owned enterprises were more successful than male-owned enterprises.
But there is also a plus in the underestimation: women tend to hire experts when men do not. Owners of business are likely to collaborate with research institutes, such as universities, with a probability three times higher than men.
Trends shaping the future for women leaders
Regardless of size, women-owned businesses in all sectors and countries appear to be more successful. On average, small female-led businesses (50-99 employees) and women’s businesses that do not use hired force generate more income than similar male-led businesses.
All female-led businesses (from small family businesses to corporations with multi-million-dollar incomes) have one characteristic: they are now a minority. And women executives usually earn less than men in similar jobs. But change does not seem to take long to come.