Women entrepreneurs are an unstoppable force within small business. They’re disrupting, innovating and succeeding in every industry they touch, and they’re growing at a rapid pace.
It can be seen in the 58 percent increase of U.S. women-owned businesses since 2007, compared to a 12 percent growth rate of small businesses overall.
What is the driving motivation behind women starting their own business? The pursuit of passion and purpose, according to a recent Harris Survey on behalf of Mastercard.
Women entrepreneurs are moving with speed, savvy and determination to develop their companies, because they see their business as a tool for impact on their family, on their community and on society. Nearly two-thirds say it took less than a year to turn their business ideas into reality. However, despite rising ambitions and pace, women-led companies still struggle for support and resources in the business world.
But it isn’t just about driving dialogue and acknowledging their needs, it’s about taking action. Through extensive research, Mastercard has engaged with women business owners to identify their top needs, and we are dedicated to doing our part to champion women entrepreneurs nationwide. Our goal is to ensure they have access to the insights, solutions and community they need to thrive as business owners and pursue their passion.
The needs of women small business owners are immediate and specific
In fact, 48 percent of women entrepreneurs cited mentorship programs and supportive communities as top priorities necessary for advancement, according to Mastercard research. Women turn to their closest networks first for support, trusting their friends and family, employees and other small business owners to understand their realities.
More than half of women say that being taken seriously as a leader is a major challenge when compared to their male counterparts. Most women also agree that they need more female role models, and they seek financial partners who can help them connect to these communities in order to grow.
Both female and male entrepreneurs are driving change
In 2017, female-founded companies received only two percent of venture capital funding, despite the fact that they contribute over $3 trillion to today’s economy and are opening over 1,800 businesses every single day. Women business owners still struggle to earn the respect and support of the startup community.
We cannot be complacent with this statistic; we must commit to driving change. While we know this change won’t happen overnight, we are confident we can turn it around if we all play a part in taking action. Access to capital, however, is only one component. Not every entrepreneur or small business owner seeks capital, and many simply require help driving their business day-to-day.
In order to create change, men and women agree they both have a role to play in solving this issue. It was reported that 79 percent of men agree that men need to be part of the solution to closing the funding gap between male and female entrepreneurs (as do 85 percent of women).
Eighty eight percent of women small business owners want to feel like their financial providers work for them and view their financial institution as a key partner in their journey. They’re looking for someone to drive efficiency and improve day-to-day operations.
We recognize that aspiring entrepreneurs are brilliant multitaskers. However, some often lack the executive experience to manage the critical day-to-day operations of their business. While wantrepreneurs still have the ambition to take their business to the next level, it’s important for aspiring entrepreneurs to find support, tools and resources that help them focus on their unique needs.
We understand the real-life challenges women entrepreneurs face in balancing work and personal life, and the community support, mentorship and access to capital women business owners not only seek, but deserve. Because when you invest in her and all she stands for, the impact is priceless.
Survey and statistics were gathered from research and a recent survey conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Mastercard.