Women Entrepreneurs Moving Beyond The Glass Ceiling
As women entrepreneurs move beyond the glass ceiling and build their own businesses, they face many challenges. Women’s participation in higher education does not translate easily into entrepreneurship and careers in business. Even though women form the majority among students enrolled in higher education, it is a struggle for them to find their place among entrepreneurs and business owners.
Nevertheless the number of women entrepreneurs has been growing. In the US, the number of women running their own businesses increased from 5.7 million in 1997 to 7.8 million in 2007. Further, 81% of female entrepreneurs surveyed are optimistic about their prospects for growth.
With these trends in mind, a recent survey identified the top ten cities in the US most friendly to women entrepreneurs. Based on factors such as the percentage of businesses owned by women, median income, level of education, unemployment rates and population, the 48 most populous cities in the US were ranked in order of potential for female entrepreneurship.
Top 10 Cities for Female Entrepreneurs
1. San Francisco CA
2. Seattle WA
3. Washington DC
4. Minneapolis MN
5. Portland OR
6. Atlanta GA
7. Austin TX
8. Raleigh NC
9. Denver CO
10. San Diego CA
Some cities offer special incentives to women entrepreneurs. For example, Houston TX provides loans worth more than $ 35 million to help women build their own business.
Tips for Women
Location is not the only factor in building a successful business. There are several key strategies that women entrepreneurs can follow to help themselves and their colleagues.
Get advice. Find a mentor who can inspire guide you towards your goals. Mentors could be fellow entrepreneurs, potential or current clients or corporate owners.
Share your knowledge. Be a mentor to other entrepreneurs. The best way to learn something is by teaching it.
Be confident. This is not arrogance but an objective appraisal of your capabilities. The mark of a good leader is to know your abilities and achievements.
Build a network. Connect with other female entrepreneurs who can offer support and share advice and referrals.
Trust your instincts. Listen to advice from different sources but make your own decisions. The success of your business is its own validation.
Get certified. State government certification is essential for your business. Make sure it is part of your business plan.
Don’t wait for perfect timing. There is no perfect moment. When all your planning and preparation is complete, move forward to your business goals.
Women entrepreneurs are poised to build beyond the glass ceiling. A recent survey found that 66% of 552 women entrepreneurs were more optimistic about growth and revenue for 2013 as compared to 2012.There’s room at the top for women entrepreneurs and many opportunities to get there.