There is a massive empowerment movement among women worldwide to empower each other, secure equal rights, challenge gender narratives and build a better future for our daughters. Thanks to women’s empowerment, there is improved gender equality worldwide and more women can call themselves business owners. Despite this, many women still have a harder time than men in building a financially independent existence.
The growing number of female entrepreneurs
Once you reach a certain age, you can probably look back to when you started your first job and how the world has changed in just a few generations. Female entrepreneurship was just a concept in the 1970s. If you ,compare the current figures with 50 years ago, we have achieved something. In 1972 only 4.6% of all companies were represented by a woman, today this has increased to 42% in the US. Globally the share of global startups with at least one female founding member doubled the last ten years. In 2019, 20 percent of startups were female-led. The share of startups with at least one female founder was ten percent in 2009, so there was an overall increase of ten percent of female-led startups during this time period (Statista).
Big earners, but borrowing money remains difficult
Today, new companies are founded by women every day. Even during the Covid pandemic, there are many women who start a business as a startup. In America, more than 11.6 million businesses are now owned by women. These companies employ nearly 9 million people and generated revenues of $1.7 to $ 2 trillion. Despite this, it is still difficult for female entrepreneurs to get a loan from the bank.
According to a ,Women Business Owner Spotlight survey, in 2019, nearly 60% of the 500 female small business owners surveyed said they did not have the same access to capital as men. In addition, female entrepreneurs are concerned about the costs of healthcare and consumer products, the availability of credit and the applied interest rate policy.
Ways to empower women in the business world
What are female entrepreneurs and business owners facing today? How can we further support the empowerment of women in business? With these questions in mind, I’ve listed a few ways to empower women in society and in business.
Tips for Women’s Empowerment
1. Learn from each other
Whether men or women, every entrepreneur must overcome obstacles to build and grow a successful business. While starting a business, it is therefore absolutely necessary for women to look for opportunities for growth. If you run into obstacles, think about the female entrepreneurs who are already successful and try to learn from them. Try strategies that have been successful for other business women. If a female entrepreneur has started a business, you may want to make her your role model. Whenever possible, ask her how she managed it and if she can give you any advice. You can also be coached by someone with experience with female entrepreneurs. For instance have a look at FeMentor.
2. Don’t listen to naysayers
Many women have been told over the years that they are unlikely to be successful in a male-dominated industry. Such negative thoughts are not beneficial and perpetuate negative stereotypes. Keep believing in your power and in possibilities that are real. Find contact with like-minded people who motivate and support you. Join networks as the wonderful female network from ,Wlounge or ,Encourage ventures (just as examples).
3. Increase Women’s Self-Esteem
Encourage women around you to think positively about themselves and discover their own strength. Self-respecting women know their strength and the possibilities they have, know the value of their opinions and are not afraid to make their voices heard.
If you have a daughter, encourage her to be herself and support her interests, whether she likes heavy metal or princess dresses. Let go of others’ opinions of what is “right” for a girl.
4. Shut off negativity
Despite the fact that clear boundaries are being drawn about what is permissible and what is not, we see a lot of negativity, especially on social media. We are still exposed to the standards of beauty in advertisements and there are also plenty of people on social media channels who can’t help but say something negative about another person’s appearance. Cut off the energy vampires in your life.
Help fight negativity by promoting positivity, intelligence and authenticity. If you have a negative report, be direct and honest and substantiate it. End a negative comment with a positive one: an opportunity or action that can turn the negative into something positive.
5. Be open and honest
It is not easy to be vulnerable when you share experiences with others. But to give other women a voice, it’s important to be open and to be honest. Remember, without Rosa Parks, many women would still haven’t had the rights like we have today. She shared her views by taking an act that changed the law, societal expectations and even how women see themselves.
Just as important as sharing your own story is listening to other women’s experiences. Female entrepreneurs can also inspire and strengthen each other.
6. Empowerment for and by women
Be a role model for other women and encourage other women to achieve their ambitions. You can also become a mentor or coach of female startups and encourage each other to overcome business obstacles. Be sure to price your services according to the value you deserve and encourage other women to know the value of their time and knowledge.
Work with women to empower each other in the workplace and create a powerful team to get things moving. If you want to invest, think about investing in companies run by women. Recommend more women if people are asking for recommendations.
7. Successful entrepreneurship is easier with the help of others
Remember that your success can inspire others. Successful entrepreneurship means that you do not give up. You may have to give yourself a lot of pep talks to succeed, especially if you’re, say, a woman trying to make it in a male-dominated industry. But just as you seek inspiration from women who have done well in business, remember that you can become an inspirational role model if you persevere in your goal of being successful.
8. Private Investing & Female Money – Invest your money and make sure you have your own private bank account
One in three marriages end in divorce. Despite this, there are still many women who do not have their own bank account within their marriage. Many women have part-time jobs that yield little, leaving them empty-handed after a divorce. Be careful not to put your fate in other people’s hands. Empowering women starts with taking responsibility for your own life. Make sure you have your own bank account and that you make agreements about income and expenses – possibly together with an independent ,financial coach. Women often do not take care of their finances themselves. However, the only wrong decision you can take when it comes to money is to rely on other people’s bad advice, hope for a pension or park all your money in a savings account. If women are capable of masterfully organizing so many areas of their lives, then it is now time to unlock their potential in organizing their finances as well. If we want to spend our earned pension carefree with travels, beauty, and the finer things in life, we cannot ignore the possibilities funds, ETFs, start-up investments or shares provide.
9. Female Entrepreneurship – Maintain Liquidity/Cash planning with the finance toolbox in your business
When you have your own business, start finance on day one. 9 out of 10 start-ups fail, 20% because of financial issues. You have a great idea and you plan to conquer the world. So focus on your strength, but do not forget the foundation which is numbers and clean accounting. Even if you don’t have the budget for automation tools, make sure that you have your liquidity and cash planning files set in place. As you probably know as a businesswoman, the Profit and Loss statement is not what is leaving your bank account. Just like that an invoice can be booked in a month, but the money is leaving your account later or earlier. Track your liquidity in a separate file and combine it all in your cash planning. In my ,finance – toolbox, I explain how you can use excel templates to combine all your financial matters. Furthermore, you will learn how to reconcile transactions and turnovers from different bank accounts and transfer them to your own cash planning, how to set-up a budget and a financial plan and other very important topics regarding maintaining the accounting hygiene. All the above without an extra tool for the ones with limited budget.
10. Spend your money wisely
Find your costs monsters – often hidden in old contracts nobody is aware of like licences, phone costs, travel, etc. And what about your customers? Do you know which ones cost you money? Also, have a smart investment approval process in place. If teams are asking for money to buy tools, licences, machines etc., it is up to you to ask the right questions: Is it really needed, are there any alternatives available, and can they create an easily understandable business case? My finance toolbox gives you an overview and ways how to spend and track your money wisely for your business.
11. Help women empower by sharing this article
Women’s empowerment starts with you. This applies to women in your private life as well as women in business. Show your support for the women around you by reminding them of their strength. Women’s empowerment is a team effort, so share this article with the women in your life and encourage them to take action to become more independent.
You are all just great role models, incredibly smart and 100% great as you are – so lets spread the word and encourage other women as well.