David Lerner Associates: Women Entrepreneurship Gains Support
Women in business is a trend which is gaining ground in today’s marketplace - over the past twenty years women have out-scored men in startups by 150%. This trend is positive, not only for our economy, but also for narrowing the gender gap where it comes to equity in jobs and earning potential.
With any startup, whether founded by either gender, there will always be the need for capital and credit. The recognition of this fact has prompted many programs to incentivize women entrepreneurs.
The Women’s Business Development Council recently announced that it had won approval from the United States Treasury for a fund intended to support female owned business and women entrepreneurs.
This is a good step in the right direction, considering the past of male-dominated business, and the gender bias we’ve experienced, and still do experience. “Woman” and “Entrepreneur” have not been synonymous in the vocabulary of the business world until recently.
The Kaufmann Foundation did a study where women didn’t even recognize themselves as entrepreneurs but rather “small business owners” which, as they concluded, is not just a vocabulary or semantics issue, but reflective of a much deeper cultural bias.
But with new opportunities being created and financial support being offered to women following entrepreneurial paths, the doors are cracking open to a more balanced scene.
Gone are the days where the expectation is that a woman-owned business will only target female consumers. Just take a look at Forbes Magazine’s Top 10 Women Entrepreneurs list. Names like Oprah Winfrey, Melinda Gates, and Arianna Huffington have firmly laid that stereotype to rest.
For the rest of the female business population though, until you’re the owner of a giant empire, here are some things that will help you along the way and hopefully gain access to some needed financial support.
- Financial literacy: Learn to speak the language. Understand how bankers and investors think and operate.
- Investment knowledge: Explore the options being offered by programs and investment funds which benefit women entrepreneurs.
- The sensible middle ground: Find a good investment advisor with a middle ground approach.
- Tap the support of women: Find banks and investment firms with women in high level, decision-making positions. It’s logical to assume that they will be more likely to invest in women-owned businesses.
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