“Lean in,” Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg encourages women. Seize available opportunities within existing organizations. However, rising female business owners in the newly recovering economy encourage fellow (wo)men to instead open new businesses. According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), 2013 is the year for the Female Entrepreneur. Female business owners are very optimistic about their businesses’ overall performance and businesses’ economic outlook. Most importantly, they predict that more women will start their own businesses this year. With the advancing discussion on gender equity, as well as the increasing use of technology (i.e Web 2.0) in small business marketing, now is the perfect time to start a business.
1. Empowerment programs are being offered by big corporations to assist women in improving their existing businesses or creating new businesses. This year, Walmart’s Women’s Economic Empowerment Project Partnership is prominent in the U.S., China, Canada, Mexico, India, and Brazil. Goldman Sach’s 10,000 Women Program provides global female business owners with business and management education through partnerships.
2. Do what you like, and possibly achieve life-long dreams. Traditional entrepreneurship is still one of the real ways to create your own position and make tons of money doing so. As bestselling author Kelly Corrigan might ask, why should what we want to do with our lives be a big secret? If you have business ideas, don’t be afraid to get started. Corrigan dares you.
3. Be part of the change. “Entrepreneurship is a vehicle for job creation and women are the future of entrepreneurship,” asserts NAWBO President Diane Tomb. Women are not only eager to start their own businesses, but also to push into male-dominated industries – especially now that these industries have opened opportunities that have not existed before. With entrepreneurial ambition and social innovation, women have the power to change the world.
4. Don’t be afraid to fall into a stereotype. Meghan Casserly explains in a Forbes article just a year ago that stereotypes regarding women’s choice in entrepreneurial endeavor marginalize some women in favor of others. “Pink Ghetto” is the somewhat offensive concept that most female business owners focus on start-ups relating to beauty, shopping, mothering, or fashion. While this may be true, don’t be embarrassed about the fact. Go with what you know, even if it plays into a silly stereotype.
5. Join the (fun) conversation. Women Entrepreneurs Rock the World just held its annual conference in New York City. Get involved with the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership at Babson College (U.S. News rated #1 for Entrepreneurship). The World Awaits is a women’s business conference to be held on October 2-5, 2013 in the Intercontinental Hotel in Miami, Florida.
These are just a few good reasons to start a business this year. George Bernard Shaw told us that “life is not about finding yourself; life is about creating yourself.” So lean in; create opportunities. Step in and make it your business to seize the day.
Babson College, Massachusetts