On paper, female entrepreneurs have never had it that good. According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, women controlled more than 11 million businesses in the United States in 2017, employing almost 9 million people and earning $1.7 trillion in sales. These figures, however, only convey part of the tale. Women-owned firms remain in the minority, and the challenges women encounter in pursuing entrepreneurship are numerous. Business News Daily questioned female CEOs about the primary hurdles women entrepreneurs encounter and how to overcome them to shine a light on some of these gaps.
They are regarded as the minority because they deal with many things in their lives; balancing family and business is an essential component for female entrepreneurs. Many committed and hardworking women, on the other hand, have acquired that expertise. One of them happens to be Casey Bishop. Finding ways to spend time with both is crucial to achieving that elusive work-life balance, as Casey Bishop-Yeakey exemplifies. She was raised on a cattle ranch in Northern California and has traveled extensively across the country. Casey spent her childhood on the Ranch, branding calves, riding horses through the hills, and riding motorcycles. Bishop owns the American Bonfire sunglasses line. She spent her childhood riding horses and working on ranches, so she wanted to give the rodeo-style sunglasses a western twist to make them more appealing. Casey has an outstanding balance of family and work life, and she always finds time to take a family trip and spend time with her loved ones. This can be seen on her Instagram account @cowgirltennis.
They also have a significant hurdle in bucking social expectations. Most female entrepreneurs who have attended networking events can relate to this scenario: you go into a busy conference and can count the number of women present on the one hand. Successful female CEOs think that staying true to themselves and establishing their voice are the keys to overcoming preconceived notions. No matter how many hurdles women face, all they need to do is be themselves and be confident in themselves. They achieved their goals via hard work and determination. Don’t try to fit into anyone’s vision of what a leader should be.
Starting a business is difficult, especially for women, who have difficulty raising funds because many people do not believe they are capable entrepreneurs. Although not all startup entrepreneurs seek investors to help them launch their firms, those who do understand how challenging the pitching process can be. For women-owned firms, raising funding is even more difficult. According to a 2014 Babson College study, female CEOs made up less than 3% of venture capital-funded companies. Female entrepreneurs can raise the financing they require for their businesses by learning to ask for precisely what they need, even if this means asking for more than they desire. However, Casey had to overcome numerous obstacles in the early stages of her company, American Bonfire and co. She used to conduct her business out of her barn, where she packed and sold everything.
On the other hand, Casey refused to give up and did everything she could to attain her goal. Bishop eventually reached the point in 2019 when she could outsource her shipments, allowing her to sell wholesale. In addition, American Bonfire CO expanded abroad during that year, with locations in Canada, Australia, Europe, and New Zealand. Most female CEOs have encountered a male-dominated sector or workplace that refuses to recognize their leadership role at some point. Alison Gutterman, Jelmar’s CEO and the president, has faced this experience before.
“People don’t take opportunities because the timing is bad, the financial side unsecure. Too many people are overanalyzing. Sometimes you just have to go for it.”
Women entrepreneurs make a significant contribution to our society and are a growing trend worldwide, but some gray areas still need to be addressed. To enable the firm to expand, proper training and access to the necessary resources must first be arranged. Another big issue that women entrepreneurs encounter is the support they need from their immediate family to enter the area of entrepreneurship. Furthermore, because women have so many responsibilities to their families, they cannot take time off. Multitasking is not as simple as it appears, making it difficult for a woman to manage their homes and work. Even if they can manage both simultaneously, time restrictions force them to prioritize one over the other. So, to be a great entrepreneur, a woman must perform many balancing acts. Starting a business is a difficult and frequently stressful task, but female entrepreneurs are especially prone to risks. Women, according to studies, are risk apprehensive due to a lifetime of societal training. However, the good news is that we can reverse all of our bad conditioning. So, make like Mae West and be “the type of girl who climbs the ladder wrong by wrong.” There’s no shame in that, and you’ll get it right someday.
The government must work on this issue to help potential female entrepreneurs. Incentives should be offered to assist these women to feel confident enough to start their enterprises and run them successfully. Introduce training and other resources to help women manage their tasks more readily. Women entrepreneurs can have a significant positive impact on society. Empowering women to go outside and gain experience in the real world can also assist future generations. “Educate a man, and you educate one person; educate a woman, and educate an entire generation,” as the proverb goes.
Even though female entrepreneurship and the formation of female-owned enterprise networks are rising, female entrepreneurs face several challenges. Female entrepreneurs confront various problems in their businesses and deal with the prevalent stereotype. Casey always encourages young entrepreneurs to attempt new things and is the epitome of tenacity.