Why Women-Owned Businesses Struggle More…and How to Fix It
Researchers have identified the impediments that keep these businesses from growing:
- Lack of natural networking and collaborative opportunities.
- Lack of role models.
- Inability to access to financing, whether through lines of credits from banks, angel investors, private equity or venture capital firms
How to Fix It
It’s critical that women find the right opportunities to connect with one another, find role models, and access financing to grow their businesses. Of course coaching is one of those avenues, but one of my favorite resources is Her Corner, an organization that provides one of the critical pieces that allow women-owned businesses to grow.
Through in-person, hyper-local peer groups run by facilitators, organization-wide events, and online communities, Her Corner provides opportunities for women to network and collaborate. They offer a Speaker Series with successful women who have built their own companies (like me!) and also provide an intensive, hands-on peer group program to target the operational, marketing, and financial issues of getting a business to the next level. In fact, in 2014, 73% of Her Corner members who participated in an annual survey said they saw growth in their business, largely as a result of the power of collective intelligence – where women come together to collaborate and share experiences and advice on business to grow their businesses. Essentially, Her Corner is all about successful women putting out a hand to help another woman to reach the summit of success.
Her Corner doesn’t tell you how to grow your business (that’s what your business coach is for!). Rather, they connect you with fellow women business owners who can tell you how they have grown their businesses. The experience of successful women who have come before you and the mentoring available from a group like Her Corner is an invaluable part of your success story.
Being able to connect with other women entrepreneurs is incredibly important. If you’re not connected to others who are starting and growing their own businesses, you’ll feel like an island. And no successful business is an island, to borrow a phrase from John Donne. When you’re connected to other entrepreneurs, you’ll find yourself more inspired and excited and motivated. When you’re connected to other women, you’ll find a community that understands and supports you through the frustrations, challenges, and celebrations. And when you’re connected to other women entrepreneurs, you’ll find magic.
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