We ladies have been making our mark in the business world for many decades. But in recent times, we’ve seen a rise in the number of women entrepreneurs, each applying their unique skills, innovation, initiative and drive to make an impact on the business world.
The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2012 Women’s Report estimates there are 126 million women female entrepreneurs worldwide. In the UK, only 29 percent of entrepreneurs are women, so women still have a long way to go to catch up to men. These women entrepreneurs are creating jobs, developing products and having a large online presence making their voices heard. More and more women are starting their own businesses, or stepping into management roles.
Woman’s networking groups such as Ladypreneurs are forming for women to collaborate, motivate, share ideas, feedback and support with each other. Women think, act and do things differently from men – and that includes the way they run their businesses.
Here are some ways women in business might differ from men:
Focus on work-life balance
Women often run businesses that enable them a work-life balance to support their growing family, enjoy hobbies and other interests and very often have the freedom of working from home. As avid multi-taskers, women are often admired for juggling many balls, including a career, children and family life – those balancing skills enhance a business.
Focus on values
Women often make values one of the highest priorities in their business. Men will also put values high on their list, but women think about what their business will stand for and the values behind it before they start planning other aspects. In business and life, women offer more empathy while men in business are often more direct.
Natural networkers and talkers
Natural networkers, women are active on social sites, leveraging those networks to promote their business and ideas. Women have natural leadership skills and therefore make perfect candidates for running their own business and successful management roles.
One of the biggest setbacks for women in their own business is financial backing and time. Finding the capital to start a business and making the time to do this if they have a family and other commitments make it a challenge. Women are often less reluctant than men to borrow money and loans to start a business.
Not afraid to ask for help
Sometimes men find it difficult to ask for help or assistance in business. If women are unsure about how to achieve something, or complete a task they aren’t afraid to ask. By networking and asking contacts within the workforce, women can quickly grow their business knowledge and watch everything prosper.
Creating a comfortable work environment
Women focus on building a comfortable working environment which will be beneficial to employees whereas men are more concerned about how the work is done – no matter what the environment. That’s why a woman’s working environment might be made more comfortable with temperature, paintings or positive sayings on the walls, lighting, furnishings and other visual and sensual elements.
Building a strong business
Women entrepreneurs often put their energy into developing a business so strong that it could function successfully without them. They can step away from it knowing it will continue while they turn their attention to other commitments. Whereas men also build strong businesses, but often do not have the mindset to step out of the business, instead keeping themselves in a central position to be an important part of the business.
How do you think women in business differ from men?