As Beyoncé once asked (and answered), “Who run the world? Girls.” In fact, American Express found that women started over 1,800 new businesses a day, on average, during 2017 and 2018 in the U.S. alone. And at home in Australia, women account for 34 per cent of all entrepreneurs.
So, why are so many women choosing to become their own bosses? Keep reading to find out.
A surge in female start-ups is shifting the face of entrepreneurship. In a few short years, we’ve come in leaps and bounds – turning the well-publicised male centric businesses of Silicon Valley on their heads.
With so many women choosing to swap the 9-5 for a chance at entrepreneurial freedom, we thought it was time to investigate why.
One study found that the primary reason women in America started a business was to fit family needs around work. And another from MBO Partners found that 74 per cent of female respondents ranked flexibility over money.
“Males want to build a business, make more money — women, I think, are more about the quality of life.” CEO of MBO Partners, Gene Zaino said.
While this may be a generalisation, it does seem that many people (including men) are choosing to swap the cubicle for a larger slice of life. Because there’s no doubt about it, entrepreneurship offers incredible autonomy.
When the founders of Beam, a portal for finding part-time or flexible work, left their corporate jobs it was for this very reason, a lack of balance and flexibility.
Then there’s Red Balloon’s founder, Naomi Simson, who decided to stick it to the man by starting her own business so she could spend more time with her children.
Time aside, entrepreneurship is giving women a chance to take a sledge-hammer to the gender pay gap and smash the glass ceiling.
The same American Express report found that during the 48 years that the U.S. Census Bureau collected data on women-owned businesses, revenue for those businesses grew from USD $8.1 billion to USD $1.8 trillion.
What’s more, women-owned businesses that generated more than USD $1 million revenue rose 34 per cent above all U.S businesses in the years 2007 to 2018.
To say the women behind these businesses are good at making it rain is an understatement.
As many women are finding, when you’re your own boss, you can set the rates. Fairer pricing without any engendered bias means women can reap what they deserve.
Unfortunately, many corporate workplaces still feel exclusionary for women. From inflexible working arrangements, to inappropriate comments and acts, there’s a lot of groundwork yet to be made.
On the other hand, when developing their own business, many women find they can leave the poor culture of their old workplaces behind – setting up a workplace that inspires and enriches them. As a result, women are creating workplaces that not only suit themselves, but empower and support other women in the process.
The Wing is an example of a women-only coworking space doing just that. They’ve established working spaces for women across the U.S., and are now spreading across the globe. The Wing market themselves as a space for women to nurture female businesses – encouraging like-minded members in an incubator-type setting.
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