Tag: women

Overcoming Challenges Female Entrepreneurs Face

Entrepreneurship was once considered a man’s domain, but times are changing. According to 2015 data from the National Association of Women Business Owners, “more than 9 million U.S. firms are now owned by women, employing nearly 8 million people and generating $1.5 trillion in sales.” New York has far more women- owned businesses than other major cities in the United States. The finding of a study done by Capital One’s Future Edge initiative shows that “the number of women-owned businesses in New York between 2002 and 2012 grew by a colossal 65 percent or 45 new businesses every day. This added more than 56,000 jobs and $3 billion in payroll to the city’s economy.”

Although this is encouraging, women still face a set of challenges not typically shared by male entrepreneurs. Here is a list of 5 of those challenges with some tips on how to overcome them.

 

1. Defying social expectations

Women may feel as though they need to adopt a stereotypically “male” attitude toward business. Traits like being 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.

It might be difficult to walk into a crowded boardroom meeting and find that you can count the number of women in the room on one hand. It can be unnerving, to say the least.

Hilary Genga, founder, and CEO of Trunkettes says,”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.”

Don’t worry about this idea that you need to be aggressive. Clearly state what you want and need and be firm in your decision making.

“One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes… and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Forty-eight percent of female founders report that a lack of available advisors and mentors limit their professional growth, according to Inc.

Knowing where to find the right support network isn’t always easy. Since the majority of the business world is dominated by men, it can be difficult to make the connections in certain business networks. After all, sometimes it’s not what you know; it’s who you know.

Make connections in other female-focused networks. According to businessnewsdaily.com, a few good places to start include women-focused networking events — such as Womancon, Women in Technology Summit and WIN Conferences— as well as online forums and groups created specifically for women in business, such as Ellevate Network.

There are also 100 women business centers located across the U.S. that run programs and training specifically design for women entrepreneurs.

“The way to achieve your own success is to be willing to help somebody else get it first.” -Iyanla Vanzant

Work life balance is a popular topic among entrepreneurs and anyone in business, regardless of gender. Mothers who start a business have to simultaneously run their families and their companies, which can be challenging and stressful.

Find your balance. Don’t beat yourself up over shortcomings on either front. Finding ways to devote time to business and family is the key to success. And know that you are a force that can handle anything!

“We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own ‘to do’ list.”- Michelle Obama

4. Limited access to funding

One contributing factor that explains why women founders attract less funding is the fact that of the top 20 most active venture capital firms in the city, just 11 percent of the investment teams are women. According to womensuccesscoaching.com, “Firms with a woman partner are more than twice as likely to invest in companies with a woman on the team, and more than three times more likely to invest in companies with women CEOs.”

But according to the Babson report, only 6 percent of U.S. firms are women-run startups.

A great way to overcome this issue is by working to get more female investors involved in supporting each other. Sponsoring and aiding in the growth of other female entrepreneurs companies can help build your network and find supportive investors. Women helping women is always a good thing.

“Support women on their way to the top. Trust that they will extend a hand to those who follow.” – Mariela Dabbah 

According to Babson College’s 2012 Global Entrepreneur Monitor, the fear of failure is the top concern of women who launch startups. Failure is a very real possibility in any business venture regardless of gender.

“You need to have massive failure to have massive success. You may need 100 ‘noes’ to get one ‘yes,’ but that one ‘yes’ will make you more successful tomorrow than you were today,” said Delia Passi, CEO of WomenCertified and founder of the Women’s Choice Award.

Work through the self-doubt and STOP comparing yourself to others. Work through this feeling of fear and harness that energy into motivation to work your hardest.

“The phoenix must burn to emerge.” – Janet Fitch

Q&A with MPW CEO Natalie Hale

Natalie Hale, CEO Media Partners WorldwideMedia Partners Worldwide, a women-owned business, was founded in 1997, by Natalie Hale and a small team of radio veterans working out of a garage. In honor of the 20th anniversary of Media Partners Worldwide, we asked Natalie to answer a few questions about entrepreneurship and starting a successful business on her own.  

1. What three pieces of advice would you give to those who want to become entrepreneurs?

Don’t give up on having a family or put it aside too long. You can still have children and run a company. It just takes coordination with your partner. Sacrifices will be made, but it is worth having the fulfillment of a family and having your own business. One of my biggest regrets is putting a family on hold and thinking that it was selfish or impossible to do both.  Through the years, I have met many successful female entrepreneurs that manage to do both and make it work! Don’t think that you have to have a lot of capital to get started. I started with some money in the bank, however, I really didn’t need it and was, fortunately, able to have immediate cash flow.  You just have to think smaller at first and know that if you don’t have capital you can still have your own business. Although it will grow more slowly and not have all the bells and whistles at first, you can still succeed. Get a support group to help you. Without my ex-husband who was a mentor to me in business, I would not have been brave enough to move forward.  After being in business for a few years, I got involved with some different CEO groups that helped me with different ideas and problems.  These groups were invaluable and helped me so much with all the different decisions. From employee legal decisions, motivating and keeping employees,  balancing and figuring out my profit and loss, to dealing with the everyday emotional struggles that can come up day to day,  I learned so much from my CEO groups. I recommend that all entrepreneurs try to join a good group asap. It will help you make fewer mistakes, feel more confident and grow your business quicker with this invaluable support group.

2. What inspired you to start a new business venture? How did the idea for your business come about?

After working for CBS for almost 10 years, I was getting burnt out with the corporate stress and changes.  I decided to take a break and do my own thing temporarily, while I figured out what I wanted to do.  A client asked me to develop and place a NATIONAL radio campaign with 20k per week budget. Luckily, it successfully took off and that was the beginning of my business. I never worried about looking for a job again. I remember I agonized about the name of the company. I wanted it to sound bigger than life!

3. What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?

I sacrificed not having a child of my own for a long time.  I was terrified that if I had a baby, everything would fall apart and that I would not be able to manage my business.  It was when I was 40, that I finally accepted that with the help of my partner, I could really do both.

4. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?

Probably would have done more traveling when I was younger, and more networking in college. Many of my old college associates became entrepreneurs and I wish I would have kept better in touch with them, as there might have been more synergy and support to work together, Also, I do wish I would have gone to school and earned my MBA right after earning my BA. Running my company for 20 years, I feel like I have been through a rigorous MBA program now, but it would have been helpful and given me more confidence to grow the business bigger and more quickly if I had that structured information sooner.]]>

Q&A with MPW CEO Natalie Hale

Natalie Hale, CEO Media Partners WorldwideMedia Partners Worldwide, a women-owned business, was founded in 1997, by Natalie Hale and a small team of radio veterans working out of a garage. In honor of the 20th anniversary of Media Partners Worldwide, we asked Natalie to answer a few questions about entrepreneurship and starting a successful business on her own.  

1. What three pieces of advice would you give to those who want to become entrepreneurs?

Don’t give up on having a family or put it aside too long. You can still have children and run a company. It just takes coordination with your partner. Sacrifices will be made, but it is worth having the fulfillment of a family and having your own business. One of my biggest regrets is putting a family on hold and thinking that it was selfish or impossible to do both.  Through the years, I have met many successful female entrepreneurs that manage to do both and make it work! Don’t think that you have to have a lot of capital to get started. I started with some money in the bank, however, I really didn’t need it and was, fortunately, able to have immediate cash flow.  You just have to think smaller at first and know that if you don’t have capital you can still have your own business. Although it will grow more slowly and not have all the bells and whistles at first, you can still succeed. Get a support group to help you. Without my ex-husband who was a mentor to me in business, I would not have been brave enough to move forward.  After being in business for a few years, I got involved with some different CEO groups that helped me with different ideas and problems.  These groups were invaluable and helped me so much with all the different decisions. From employee legal decisions, motivating and keeping employees,  balancing and figuring out my profit and loss, to dealing with the everyday emotional struggles that can come up day to day,  I learned so much from my CEO groups. I recommend that all entrepreneurs try to join a good group asap. It will help you make fewer mistakes, feel more confident and grow your business quicker with this invaluable support group.

2. What inspired you to start a new business venture? How did the idea for your business come about?

After working for CBS for almost 10 years, I was getting burnt out with the corporate stress and changes.  I decided to take a break and do my own thing temporarily, while I figured out what I wanted to do.  A client asked me to develop and place a NATIONAL radio campaign with 20k per week budget. Luckily, it successfully took off and that was the beginning of my business. I never worried about looking for a job again. I remember I agonized about the name of the company. I wanted it to sound bigger than life!

3. What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?

I sacrificed not having a child of my own for a long time.  I was terrified that if I had a baby, everything would fall apart and that I would not be able to manage my business.  It was when I was 40, that I finally accepted that with the help of my partner, I could really do both.

4. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?

Probably would have done more traveling when I was younger, and more networking in college. Many of my old college associates became entrepreneurs and I wish I would have kept better in touch with them, as there might have been more synergy and support to work together, Also, I do wish I would have gone to school and earned my MBA right after earning my BA. Running my company for 20 years, I feel like I have been through a rigorous MBA program now, but it would have been helpful and given me more confidence to grow the business bigger and more quickly if I had that structured information sooner.]]>