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Product and service reviews are conducted independently by our editorial team, but we sometimes make money when you click on links. Learn more. On paper, things have never looked better for female entrepreneurs. As ofmore than 11 million U. But these s only tell part of the story. Women-owned businesses are still in the minority, and the hurdles faced by women who have embraced entrepreneurship are vast and often very different from those experienced by their male counterparts.
To shed light on some of these disparities, Business News Daily asked female CEOs about the key challenges women entrepreneurs face and how to overcome them. Most female business owners who have attended networking events can relate to this scenario: You walk into a crowded seminar and can count the of women there on one hand.
When women entrepreneurs talk business with primarily male executives, it can be unnerving. In this sort of situation, women may feel as though they need to adopt a stereotypically "male" attitude toward business: competitive, aggressive and sometimes harsh. But successful female CEOs believe that remaining true to yourself and finding your own voice are the keys to rising above preconceived expectations.
Don't conform yourself to a man's idea of what a leader should look like. Not all startup founders look for investors to help get their businesses off the ground, but those who do know how difficult the pitching process can be. Raising capital is even more difficult for women-owned businesses. Bonnie Crater, president and CEO of Full Circle Insightssaid venture capitalists tend to invest in startups run by people of their own "tribe. This means that VC firms with female partners are more likely Woman to please business professional invest in women-run startups.
Crater recommends that women looking for business investors should build confidence through a great team and business plan. If you have experts on your founding team that can execute the business [operations] well, investors will have confidence in those people. Another way to overcome this issue is to get more female investors to support one another, said Felena Hanson, founder of the Hera Hub coworking space for female entrepreneurs. According to Hanson, groups like hers are "looking to not only inspire and encourage female investors, but to grow and support other female entrepreneurs through both funding and strategic educational workshops.
Female entrepreneurs can raise the necessary capital for their business by learning to ask for exactly what they need, even if that means requesting more than what they want. But men so often overstate and exaggerate that investors often discount the s off the bat. Kolb said that investors, who are usually men, tend to assume that the women entrepreneurs are operating just like the men and inflating their s.
Therefore, they will provide funding at lower levels than requested. Women need to understand this dynamic and approach their pitches accordingly. At one time or another, most women CEOs find themselves in a male-dominated industry or workplace that does not want to acknowledge their leadership role. Because Jelmar is her family's business, she faced presumptions that she was living off her father's and grandfather's reputations. Those negative comments that have built up in your head are stopping you from reaching your full potential, said Gutterman. To combat them, she has ed a variety of women entrepreneur groups.
The communal, consensus-building qualities encouraged in young girls can leave women unintentionally downplaying their own worth. As I grow the business, I am making an effort to own what I've accomplished. Similarly, Shilonda Downing, founder of Virtual Work Teamadvises women to recognize the value of their creative ideas. I was never unprepared for the questions I knew would come. Finding the right support network isn't always easy.
Some good places to start are women-focused networking events — such as WIN ConferenceeWomenNetwork and Bizwomen events — as well as online forums and groups created specifically for women in business, like Ellevate Network. Once you find your network of supporters, don't be afraid to ask for what you really need from them. People are more likely to jump in if you Woman to please business professional specific about what you need them to do.
If you don't ask, you won't get. Parent entrepreneurs have dual responsibilities to their businesses and to their families; finding ways to devote time to both is key to achieving that elusive work-life balance, said Genga. For Michelle Garrett of Garrett Public Relationsfinding this balance meant leaving a corporate job and starting her own consulting business before her first child was born. But working for yourself will probably always allow more freedom than working for someone else.
Failure is a very real possibility in any business venture, but Kristi Piehl, founder and CEO of Media Minefieldadvises women not to let their insecurities keep them from dreaming big. She encourages women to work through the moments of self-doubt that every business owner faces and not wait for perfection before starting their business or taking a big promotion.
Failure should not be viewed as a negative or an excuse for relinquishing your goals, according to Swartz. The road to success is paved with losses, mishaps and mistakes, but it can still take you where you want to go as long as you don't lose sight of your ultimate destination.
But whatever you do, do not give up. Based on their accomplishments and net worth, the following ladies made our cut for some of the most successful women entrepreneurs to date. Love them or hate them, they sure made names for themselves in strong careers. No last name is needed for Oprah, known as "the first lady of talk shows. She came from a poor family and experienced sexual abuse at the age of 9, but she says she hit a turning point in her teenage years when her father saved her life.
Oprah Winfrey's first streak of success came when she won the titles of Miss Black Nashville and Miss Tennessee in her freshman year of college. After graduating, she moved into the TV industry and was soon getting better ratings than daytime talk show pioneer Phil Donahue.
Today, Oprah is best known for hosting The Oprah Winfrey Showbeing a billionaire philanthropist, and having her own TV network and magazine. In her instant New York Times bestseller LessonsGisele Bundchen talked about her time growing up in Brazil with her sisters and how she was teased for being tall and skinny. Those features helped launch her modeling career, and sinceshe has been one of the highest-paid models in the world.
Aside from the well-known work she has done in the modeling industry, Bundchen is the founder of Sejaa Pure Skincare. The line includes a face cream, night cream and mud mask. She plays to her personal brand with an entrepreneurial mindsetearning a cut of sales from jelly sandals she deed and her own line of lingerie, according to StyleCaster. This American technology executive was born in Washington, D.
Her success came at a young age when she was part of the National Honor Society and graduated high school in the ninth position of her senior class with a 4. Her accomplishments in high school did not go unnoticed when she was admitted to Harvard University. After holding several prestigious positions with other companies, Sandberg served as Google's vice president of global online sales and operations until she was recruited to be Facebook's first COO. InGaga released her debut album, The Fameand started making a name for herself.
Lady Gaga never was just your average pop star — she goes all out in everything she does, from her risky outfits to her fun dance moves and jaw-dropping theatrical performances. Music was only the start for Gaga.
From struggling mom to one of the world's biggest names, J. Rowling is a must-watch on our top women entrepreneurs list. She was born and raised in England but later moved to Portugal to teach. While on welfare and struggling to support her daughter after a divorce, she started writing the first Harry Potter book. Rowling's creative and intelligent writing had people everywhere with their faces stuck in her books.
Who are your favorite women entrepreneurs? Let us know on our Facebook. Nicole Fallon and Shannon Gausepohl contributed to the reporting and writing in this article. Some source interviews were conducted for a version of this article. Defying social expectations Most female business owners who have attended networking events can relate to this scenario: You walk into a crowded seminar and can count the of women there on one hand.
Accessing funding Not all startup founders look for investors to help get their businesses off the ground, but those who do know how difficult the pitching process can be. Struggling to be taken seriously At one time or another, most women CEOs find themselves in a male-dominated industry or workplace that does not want to acknowledge their leadership role. Owning your accomplishments The communal, consensus-building qualities encouraged in young girls can leave women unintentionally downplaying their own worth.
Balancing business and family life Parent entrepreneurs have dual responsibilities to their businesses and to their families; finding ways to devote time to both is key to achieving that elusive work-life balance, Woman to please business professional Genga.
Coping with fear of failure Failure is a very real possibility in any business venture, but Kristi Piehl, founder and CEO of Media Minefieldadvises women not to let their insecurities keep them from dreaming big. Oprah No last name is needed for Oprah, known as "the first lady of talk shows. Gisele Bundchen In her instant New York Times bestseller LessonsGisele Bundchen talked about her time growing up in Brazil with her sisters and how she was teased for being tall and skinny. Rowling From struggling mom to one of the world's biggest names, J. Lead Your Team.
Updated Tragedy to Triumph: 7 Entrepreneurs Who Beat the Starting a business is hard enough on its own. These entrepreneurs D had a lot to do with creating our entrepreneurial spirit. Two tips for strong female leadership include leaving your comfortWoman to please business professional
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Challenges Faced by Women Entrepreneurs and Some of the Most Successful Women to Follow