Learn how eight women found entrepreneurial success, their impact on society and the challenges they faced building their businesses. Although no two women have the same journeys, their collective advice creates five important insights into women owned businesses:
- People and culture: The women entrepreneurs profiled focused on people – employees, vendors and customers – as much as on the business itself. They tried to create company cultures that helped people reach their full potential.
- Education, experience and a little luck: Many think entrepreneurship starts with a business idea, but there is more to it than that. The women entrepreneurs profiled earned degrees and gained business experience that helped them identify a societal or cultural shift, gap or unfilled need that, in turn, guided their business model.
- Access to capital: A key theme that emerged for all was the importance of accessing capital. Only two of the women profiled sought equity investors. Six self-funded their businesses, wanting to keep their autonomy and maintain their people-focused culture.
- Resiliency and optimism: The women interviewed showed that launching a company requires both optimism and resilience. They all faced and overcame adversity, but were similarly hard-wired with an understanding that setbacks were just part of the journey.
- The importance of women’s leadership: All of the women profiled who started their careers in the 1970s said that having had more female colleagues would have made their paths to success less arduous. Consequently, all of them support younger women, both in business and in their communities.
Read the full profile here: WOMEN'S ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEYS: PROFILES IN LEADERSHIP IN AN ERA OF NEW OPPORTUNITIES