Factors Influencing the Growth of Women-Owned Businesses – Risk Tolerance, Motivations, Expectations, and Culture Report
Like all entrepreneurs, women business owners face many challenges in making their entrepreneurship dreams a reality. Some of the challenges faced by women may be specific to women, due to the historical and cultural context within which they do their work. Women have the challenge of confronting and overcoming the historical barriers of being kept out of business and capital markets until the late 1980s. Even today, women’s access to information (or lack thereof) about financing strategies and opportunities may be limited due to a lack of access to the social networks where many key decision makers and capital players make deals. A lack of information about financing a business may result in more women raising lower levels of capital or pursuing only debt financing, which can limit their growth potential. Even more challenging are the cultural and personal challenges that women may face. Many women business owners also need to manage family-related responsibilities that still fall disproportionately on women despite progress in this area. Finally, some women struggle with being comfortable with living through and overcoming risk and failure, a critical skill set for any entrepreneur. Women still trail men in size of business and business receipts, and women need to become more comfortable with risk in order to grow their businesses. All of these issues hit close to home for many successful business owners, yet, they are important to continue to explore, particularly in relation to how women start, grow, and expand their businesses.