Many entrepreneurs, especially women, face challenges in paying themselves fair salaries, contributing to a gender pay gap in entrepreneurship. Despite efforts to address this issue, a survey reveals that female entrepreneurs, on average, earn 28% less than their male counterparts, emphasizing the need for business owners to ensure profitability and strategic financial planning to afford fair compensation for their work.
To read more about this, see this post by Abigail Ingram, executive director of the Polsky Exchange, a 34,000-square-foot incubator space that leads the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center engagement with the South Side community through programs and initiatives that support local business owners and entrepreneurs.
According to this post on CNBC, the landscape for female entrepreneurs is evolving positively, with women accounting for nearly half of new business owners in recent years. Despite progress, a funding gap still exists, with only 2.1% of venture capital investments in the U.S. going to businesses founded solely by women in 2022. While the funding rate for women-owned businesses rose to 41% in 2022, challenges persist, including stereotypes and misconceptions. Founders emphasize the importance of confidence, saying no to opportunities that may have long-term costs, and valuing long-term goals over short-term gains. See the link to read more!
According to this post in Black Enterprise, Black women entrepreneurs have significantly grown their presence in the microbusiness sector, owning 68% of the 15% of U.S. microbusinesses owned by Black entrepreneurs in 2023. Challenges such as marketing and access to capital persist, but initiatives, including grants and business acquisitions, are helping address the funding gap and overcome racial biases for Black women in entrepreneurship.
The pandemic saw a remarkable increase in women-led entrepreneurship, with half of the new businesses formed during this time started by women, a substantial rise from 29% in 2019. Dissatisfaction with traditional workplaces and a desire for more flexibility led women to create small businesses and side hustles. Harvard Professor Claudia Goldin’s research suggests that women sought entrepreneurship due to the clash between demanding jobs and family responsibilities, pushing them to seek more control over their work-life balance. The upheaval caused by the pandemic accelerated this trend, prompting women, especially those handling more domestic duties, to explore entrepreneurship. To read more about this trend and its ripple effects, see this article from Technical.ly
The HerMoney Media and Principal Financial Group’s 2023 State of Women survey of small and midsized business owners revealed significant differences between men and women in their economic outlook, financial confidence, and attitudes towards risk.
Women business owners express more caution about the U.S. economy but are optimistic about their personal financial situations compared to men. In addition, female business owners prioritize employee outcomes, emphasizing a positive work environment, mental health, and opportunities for advancement. They are less likely than men to offer financial wellness programs, often due to the belief that their businesses are too small to justify such programs.
A report issued by Merchant Maverick looked at the top ten states in the US for women-owned businesses. The top of the list included Colorado (ranking at the to of the list for the third year in a row), Texas, Florida, Washington, California, Virginia, Arizona, North Carolina, Wyoming, and Illinois. To evaluate the best states for women-led startups, Merchant Maverick considered items like total venture capital in the past five years invested in women-led startups, percent of employer firms led by women, percent of employees at women-led firms, percent of women self-employed in their own business, and the average income of women self-employed in their own business. To read more about the findings, click here.
The COVID pandemic has worsened existing challenges for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women entrepreneurs. Many AAPI-owned businesses have been hit hard, especially in industries heavily affected by the pandemic.
Language barriers and a lack of banking relationships have limited their access to loans and capital. AAPI women face a wage gap and have shouldered increased caregiving responsibilities. Despite these obstacles, AAPI women entrepreneurs remain resilient and determined to overcome the challenges they face. See this April 2023 post from CNBC to read more.
This article in Entrepreneur offers five practical ways to support women-owned businesses. These include shopping at women-owned businesses to support owners, employees, and the local economy; spreading the word about these businesses through social media and personal networks; attending events organized by women-owned businesses to show support and foster community; writing positive reviews to boost visibility and influence potential customers; and partnering with women-owned businesses to collaborate and mutually benefit. These actions can bring about significant changes in behavior and contribute to empowering women entrepreneurs while promoting economic growth and diversity in the marketplace.
This article from AllBusiness provides advice for women entrepreneurs from successful female business owners. The piece includes 21 tips that cover a range of topics such as cultivating storytelling skills, bringing a fresh perspective, finding purpose, taking control, avoiding self-discrimination, hiring passionate staff, charging appropriately for services, and surrounding oneself with supportive people. Many of the tips emphasize the importance of amplifying women’s unique strengths, including communication, empathy, and problem-solving abilities, in building successful businesses.
According to this press release from the White House, the Biden Administration is working through the Small Business Administration (SBA) to expand the Women Business Centers (WBC) network. The goal is to bring the total number of WBCs to 160 centers across the country. WBCs assist women entrepreneurs through training, mentoring, business development, and financing opportunities. Read more about the White House plans here.