Women as entrepreneurs are making impressive strides in their endeavor to earn, gain independence and compete for recognition in the business world. According to the US Department of Labor blog (March 1, 2017), there are 74.6 million women in the civilian labor force. Women own close to 10 million businesses.
The reasons for these statistics are well-known. The movement, known as Feminism, revved up to full gear in the middle of the 20th century. Groups and organizations formed to educate, support and give legal counsel to women, as a means to end discrimination and inequality.
Today, more women than men have a college education and earn graduate degrees. And they still earn about 20% less than men. A featured article by Kerry Hannon, Entrepreneurship Expert, on Next Avenue (October 5, 2017) states that women over 50 have distinct advantages as business owners. Let’s take a look at the problems and issues women face, and see what the real picture looks like.
Can I Run A Business?
Many women have worked in business jobs for years, often in decision-making and management positions. Understanding how things work, organizing a department, assigning work loads and dealing with people yield skills and experience that are essential to running a business. These same skills are acquired in numerous work areas. Education, creative workplaces, volunteer jobs, military and managing a home and family challenge women to learn, grow and accomplish. Applying those skills has given enormous opportunities to women who use what they know and ask when they’re stumped.
Where Do I Get Cash?
Women who have acquired funds through a 401k, IRA, or other retirement funds have some money to start a business. Keeping it running is the issue. Women find it much harder to get a loan than men. The Small Business Administration will guide you through the application process and help you get a loan. Having a solid business plan, evidence of profit, and determination are core requirements for success. This is only a general overview, but the list of lenders and resources is long. Check these out and do a little more research if you need to.
Possibly the best thing you can do is to join a few organizations. This can be online or in person. Check out Meetups in the library, or ask other business owners about support groups. The local Chamber of Commerce is loaded with ideas and suggestions for business owners. They also put on events for all aspects of business and marketing.
A startup needs tending like a newborn baby. There are solutions both on and off the internet. Older women have experience and persistence on their side.
Go for it.