In 2021, there are 114% more women entrepreneurs than there were 20 years ago. For example, the USA has 12.3 million women-owned businesses. Currently, 62% of women entrepreneurs cite their business as their primary source of income. These numbers represent a nearly 60% increase in women-owned businesses since 2007 — as well as a larger societal trend in confidence among professional women.
"When you look at some of the hard numbers ... the number of women who have actually started firms has increased exponentially," said Rebecca Harris, executive director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University. "[But] 90% of all women-owned businesses are sole proprietors, meaning only 10% are hiring employees. That has to change, because you have to have employees to grow."
While there are more women than ever starting and leading businesses, female entrepreneurs still face some unique challenges.
Lack of support: Lack of mentors and advisors is a major challenge for women entrepreneurs. According to a survey by Inc. Magazine, 48% of female entrepreneurs said that the lack of mentors and advisors restrain their professional growth. In a world where high-level business is dominated by men, it becomes difficult for women to excel in their profession without someone showing them the right way.
No business networks: According to a recent survey, women were not a part of business networks which would help them build a network to grow their business, find customers, partners, suppliers, build connections, and more which come very naturally to male entrepreneur. Finding the right support network isn't always easy. Some good places to start are women-focused networking events– as well as online forums and groups created specifically for women in business.
Lack of confidence: A lot of women struggle with confidence and they need help with understanding their skills, their value on what they bring to businesses and organizations. Very often, women tend to underestimate their capabilities and so they need a lot of support to gain that confidence and understand the value that they possess.