Three reasons why women entrepreneurs mean business30 Oct 2017, Posted by Work in
The BIG trend today is that women entrepreneurs and the supporting communities are on the rise. Self-employment is at its highest in 40 years and much of this recent growth is equated to women. The number of female entrepreneurs has grown by 40%, compared with just 13% for men.
At SuperHuman we are clearly overjoyed by this development but felt compelled to explore the reasons behind it. We spoke to 200 women through The Connective, our unique network of female influencers and community leaders and this is what they told us:
1. IF YOU CAN’T STAND THE HEAT GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN
Getting women in the workforce isn’t the problem, it is building the framework to keep them. We still aren’t creating work environments where women can function never mind flourish. Just over two thirds (66%) of our entrepreneurs stated that having the flexibility to do what they wanted was vital.
Women become entrepreneurs to take control of their lives and their futures. The Collective stated that the top four reasons for starting their own business were: find or create work that is more fulfilling (62%), be my own boss (55%), make my own success/wealth (55%) and work my own hours (53%).
So it appears that if you can’t beat the system then create your own and this is exactly what women are doing – and in droves. As Cindy Gallop famously advises ‘GTFO’ (Get the fuck out).
2. HEALTH FOR WEALTH
If women are expected to be mums, homemakers, breadwinners, and social planners all at once, prioritising wellness and self-care is essential to success. Personal fulfilment and wellbeing at work are incredibly important to female entrepreneurs, with 84% saying “doing work I enjoy” and 57% stating “looking after myself and feeling healthy” is key.
The rapid increase of female workspaces and communities, with a focus on health and business support, is a testament to this trend. Networks like The Step Up Club, Winging It Club, Blooming Founders & Driven Woman offer women a holistic mix of business and emotional support.
3. COMPETITIVE COLLABORATION: PEACE NOT WAR
From fashion to finance, tech to confidence building, business communities and workspaces are booming. Women seek community and collaboration over competition in business. Over two thirds (64%) of our entrepreneurs said having the opportunity to collaborate with like-minded people was important to them, with the preferred method of support coming from female business networks (67%) rather than from a paid business expert (21%).
So how can brands help the women who are helping themselves? What do they need to succeed and what are their pain points? The stumbling blocks for female entrepreneurs are often linked to confidence and resilience. The Collective stated their five pain points were self-confidence (52%), trying to do everything myself (59%), having enough money to set up/grow (57%), coping with failure (47%) and selling myself (45%).
There are glaring gaps in resources available to support the growth of women entrepreneurs, everything from access to funding and mentorship to quality of networking. This is a rich opportunity for brands that engage and support this progressive audience of women, right at the start of their startup journey.
You can find out more about our work in helping brands engage with and support women, including women entrepreneurs, at www.wearesuperhuman.co.uk.