Craving Risk-Taking? – Women in Entrepreneurship


According to Forbes, there are 7 women startup businesses compare to 10 men in 2013. The number of women entrepreneurs has been increasing since the last 20 years, but women entrepreneurs only create 16 percent of total businesses with paid employees. This entrepreneurial gender gap was caused by many reasons from history to culture to socialization, but the most common one is the fear of failure. The perceptions are that women are more likely to take risks when they gain higher education and more valuable experience instead of taking risks when they are younger. For men, their perceptions are totally opposite as their fear of failure rises when their age rises. Since there are more women willing to be entrepreneurs, solely role models of men entrepreneurs will be less discouraging to women who are passionate but thought that there are fewer opportunities. Therefore, women are more confident and independent in starting up new businesses with their knowledge and willingness to make an impact.

Although women possess all entrepreneurial characteristics for starting up businesses, I think that innovation is the key to success. After reading through the articles, I was surprised by the number of women CEOs in the top technology companies. In 2012, the world’s most powerful women in business are highly involved in technology, which leads to the assumption that starting up a technology related company will lead to a better future. As Rosabeth Moss Kanter from Harvard Business School and author of business innovation book SuperCorp states that “Technology companies move quickly, are results-oriented and highly innovation driven. It’s a culture of entrepreneurship. You prove yourself, and then you’re valued.” Most things in today’s world have to be connected with technology. However, the career and profession that each of us pursue may lead us to different entrepreneurial ideas. Every profession has space for improvement or even something new to discover, and every woman can be successful with what she is passionate and best at. It is highly encouraged that not only pursuing a career and start up a business that she truly enjoy from heart, but also brainstorming innovative ideas require deep knowledge and bright vision for the business. As an immigrant to the U.S. with low family income, I realized that I was simply pursuing a career that I did not truly like but just to make a good salary. However, after starting up two organizations in college and participated in some business conferences, I learned that one can only start up and lead something with passion and willingness to explore.

One of the key elements for anyone has a desire to be an entrepreneur is to start early. As college students, it is not necessary to wait until graduation or enter the industry for a few years to start a business. Everyone has to learn from the beginning to develop entrepreneurial skills in order to move on to a bigger step, so it is always beneficial to learn as time goes on for future business and operations. Here are some tips on how to start up a business:

  1. Know your strength and weaknesses

Both strength and weaknesses can help you identify and know yourself better in order to set your business goal and fix the problems before making a decision in running a business.

2.     Make a solid business plan

Palo Alto Software founder Tim Berry’s research shows that the success rate for startups creating business plans doubles the ones who have not. A solid business plan can help you to get more clear and well-rounded information in different aspects evaluating the business idea.

3.     Calculate your budget

Not having enough funding is one of the most crucial reasons that a business fail. It is important to keep track of personal finance and the specific budget for building the company.

4.     Build a strong network: Social Media

No matter what type of business, customer service is always an essential aspect to attract and keep customers. Furthermore, social media is as effective as basic essentials for each business. As the year of 2013, “86% of marketers say social media is important for their business”(TopRank). The most powerful networking tools as of today are: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Ladies: step into the entrepreneurial world and prove your value. Even you are not interest in entrepreneurship, think like an entrepreneur, and take time to learn something new every day!


Huan Zhi

Purdue University


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