By: Morgan Rush, studio
Some encouraging information for women trying to start a business: they’re not alone. The market is filled with success stories about women starting their own businesses. The Center for Women’s Business Research reports that in 2008, 10 million firms owned by women generated $1.9 trillion. Together these firms employ 13 million people. Women-owned firms comprise 40 percent of all privately held firms, according to the group’s studies. While 6 percent of firms owned by men generate $1 million or more, 3 percent of firms owned by women do the same.
Women trying to start a business will follow much the same process as their male counterparts. Starting a business generally involves researching the market, developing a business plan and then seeking financial backing. Startups also require relevant permits and licenses, including liability insurance. After purchasing products, raw materials and office supplies, you’ll then want to engage in networking and advertising to get the word out. As the business grows, hiring employees may become desirable.
Women trying to start a business may be glad to hear that there are advantages to being a woman in business. Women are pros at multi-tasking, making it easier to juggle the new challenges of running a business while continuing to work another job, running a household, caring for family members, or performing well in school. Women are generally more patient with the process of starting a business, according to All That Women Want website. Creating a supportive network and using that network to promote and market your business may come more naturally, according to the article.
A wealth of grants are available for women trying to start a business. Government grants include federal, state and local financial backing opportunities. ACCION USA grants of up to $50,000 are intended to help those without access to traditional bank loans, including women and minorities. States, including California, Delaware and Illinois, also offer grants of different sizes for women in business. Women’s funding networks may also offer grants to women trying to start a business. Other potential resources include the local newspaper and Chamber of Commerce.
A number of resources are in place that can help women trying to start a business outside of financial assistance. For example, the Small Business Administration operates a Women’s Business Center Program in most states that provides business training, counseling and other resources.
“Six Startup Tips for Women Entrepreneurs” suggests that women trying to start a business choose a business idea that fits with their personal vision of how they’d like to live their life. Don’t stress overmuch about the bureaucratic hurdles that must be cleared when starting a business; these are typically clearly described and there will be trained, experienced professionals there to help you. Be sure to allocate enough money before starting–“undercapitalization” is the reason why most businesses fail early on, according to the article. Network and create relationships before you need help, so that a steady support system will be in place when challenges begin to arise.