How To Prevent The Pandemic From Taking A Greater Toll On Women Entrepreneurs - Forbes

How To Prevent The Pandemic From Taking A Greater Toll On Women Entrepreneurs - Forbes


How To Prevent The Pandemic From Taking A Greater Toll On Women Entrepreneurs - Forbes

Posted: 03 Apr 2020 04:15 AM PDT

Between 2007 to 2012 — the period before and after the Great Recession — the number of women-owned businesses jumped 27% while privately held businesses grew only 3.3%, according to the Survey of Business Owners by the Census. Average revenues for women's businesses decreased from $154,300 in 2007 to $143,700 in 2012 and privately held businesses revenue grew from $417,400 to $440,200 during the same period. One reason for the decline in revenue among women's businesses was a surge in startups, which had not yet achieved their full revenue potential. Another reason is that many of these businesses were necessity businesses: The entrepreneur's only viable employment option was to start a business. These entrepreneurs also tend to be sidepreneurs, working only part-time

Like the canaries in the coal mine, women's businesses were already experiencing a downturn. Their numbers increased by 5.4% between 2018 and 2019, privately held companies only increased by 2.4%, according to the American Express 2019 State of Women-Owned Businesses.* However, after a slow but steady rise, women-owned businesses' average revenues declined from $143,100 in 2018 to $142,900 in 2019, while all privately held businesses rose from $468,000 to $474,900. 

On the flip side: Women are also going for the brass ring. Between 2007 and 2012, million-dollar-plus women-owned businesses increased by 21% compared to 3.3% for all privately held businesses and between 2018 and 2019, it was 4.2% compared to 2.4%, respectively. These are the women I write about in this column.

While we are entering uncharted territory, some navigation markers will hold for the coronavirus outbreak. Women tend to have smaller businesses than men for many reasons, among them:

  • The motivations behind starting a business also forge the journey and the specific paths taken. For example, flexibility (to accommodate care-giving responsibilities, they need to control when and where they work), necessity, and lifestyle (pursue their passions and work when and where they want) entrepreneurs are more likely to be sidepreneurs who generate less revenue. Women are more likely to be all three.
  • Women also tend to be in low-margin low-revenue industries, such as child care, personal care, and home healthcare. Smaller businesses less profitable businesses will fare less well and many may shutter.
  • Money is the crucial ingredient companies need to grow. Undercapitalized companies have lower sales and profits, generate fewer jobs, and are more likely to fail. Women have less capital because, on average, they earn less than men, are less likely to be promoted, and go in and out of the workforce because of care-giving responsibilities. For women, debt is by far the dominant form of outside funding. Evidence finds that minority and women entrepreneurs are dissuaded from applying for credit,ask for less financing than men do, are approved less often, and pay more for credit.
  • Women are often the primary family caregivers and household managers. As a result, they also have more demands on their time that can play into the decisions to start and grow their businesses.
  • Evidence finds that entrepreneurs with larger and more diverse networks grow their businesses bigger. Women tend to build deep and narrow networks, while men build wide and shallow ones. The weaker ties built by casting a wide networking net are the greatest source of new ideas, information, and opportunities, according to Mark Granovetter, a sociologist often cited by Reid Hoffman, executive chairman and co-founder of LinkedIn. 

In this time of great need, it behooves the entire women's entrepreneurial ecosystem — policymakers, funders, supporting organizations, educators, researchers, the media, and the women themselves — to take swift bold action to expand or create policies that will address women's specific needs. 

If one lesson was learned from the recovery of the 2007-2009 financial crisis, it is that access to capital for small businesses matters. Small businesses were hit harder than large companies by the recession. Loans to small businesses were already in decline before 2008. Still, the financial crisis accelerated the process and slowed small businesses' recovery. During the financial crisis (between 2008 and 2013),big banks reduced lending to small businesses by 20% but increased loans to larger companies by 4%. While women are making progress, the coronavirus crisis should be a time to press harder on closing the gaps in both debt and equity financing. 

The Small Business Administration (SBA) COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Paycheck Protection Program are steps in the right direction. However, banks are warning of a chaotic launch of small business PPP program. As Karen Mills the former head of the SBA under Obama suggested on the 11th Hour with Brian Williams last night, let fintechs like QuickBooks, Square, and Stripe implement them as well.

Women entrepreneurs need to take advantage of not only of SBA grants and loans being offered but also take advantage of those provided by corporations. In addition to my friends at Alice, check out A Common Thread, Amazon, Facebook, GoFundMe's Small Business Relief Fund, Google Ad Grants (current customers only), James Beard Foundation Relief Fund, SheaMoisture, and Yelp Support.  

Federal, state, and local governments need to start or increase their use of supplier diversity programs in which a certain amount of their procurement dollars is allocated to businesses owned by minorities, women, LGBTQ+, individuals with disabilities, and veterans. Federal dollars allocated to SBA Women Business Centers need to be increased. Use of these training and counseling centers will rise.

The ability to start a small business and grow it into a success embodies the American Dream. Increasingly, it is women — especially women of color — who are grabbing for the brass ring. Women of color represent 39% of the total female population in the United States but account for 89% of the net new women-owned businesses over the past year. The disparity between one entrepreneurial segment and another has an enormous effect on the U.S. economy. For example, if women-of-color matched the number of employees and revenues of businesses owned by white women, four million new jobs and $981 billion in revenue would be added to the economy. The diversity boom is good news for entrepreneurship in the U.S., which faces a declining growth rate for businesses in general. 

Women entrepreneurs are an untapped economic engine. The recovery and vitality of the U.S. economy are at stake and everybody needs a chance to participate equally.

6 Small Business You Can Start from Home - LA Progressive

Posted: 30 Mar 2020 07:52 AM PDT

Business You Can Start from Home

Business You Can Start from Home

It's the age of small start-up businesses. The world is starting to see you can support yourself by being an entrepreneur.  Don't give up your own dreams and help others achieve theirs for a job income that is barely decent. People think jobs give you security, but, in reality, there is never any guarantee your job will be there. What's to stop your boss from firing you if he needs to downsize?

Salary is the worst addiction until you get a taste of your own business. You will have to see difficult times and work hard, but it all pays off. Once it's stable, you could make more in a month than you would in a year at the job. To help you realize your dream, here are some small business ideas you can start from home that don't require a big investment. 

Grow Weed

Once it's stable, you could make more in a month than you would in a year at the job.

It still sounds illegal due to the controversy that has surrounded it for decades. Marijuana is now legal in many states and in very high demand. It doesn't require you to have a lot of investment or education. You only need to buy seeds and see a few online videos to learn how to grow it at home. If you can differentiate in the quality, you can really scale this business to new heights. You can get more help at i49 about weed, its types, and prices. 

Blogging is on the rise, and every blogger seems to earn a quite decent amount of money. Getting a website is no big deal and very inexpensive. All you need is expertise in an industry or niche. Think of something that you know a lot about. For example, you can start a fashion blog, if you think you have the talent for it. You only have to write and upload useful articles regularly to attract people on your site. You can earn through ads, affiliate links, and guest posts once you start getting traffic. 

Run a Social Media Page

Choose Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other channel; your only goal is to increase its followers and keep them engaged. It works similarly to blogs, but you don't have to write lengthy articles. Once you become an influencer, people will contact you for marketing. If you manage to become a social media specialist, people will hire your expertise to increase their social media following. 

Home Bakery

Dig out all grandma's recipes and test to see if you can bake delicious cookies and other sweet items. Many people are running home bakeries and earning a decent income. Some people will come to your home. Most will need a home delivery service. You are competing against other full-fledged bakeries, so you must provide a good taste.

Men can do it too, but it's most commonly a profession of women. Can't afford a shop in a busy location? Open a salon at your home. All neighbors are sure to visit you for their makeup and styling. You will, however, need these skills, or you shouldn't even think about this business.

Pet Sitting

You are going to really enjoy this business if you love pets. On the other hand, if you are not a big fan of animals, I suggest you steer away from it. People consider their pets their children. They give them proper love, care, and want to see them safe, even when they are not present. So many people who live alone with pets, those who have to travel, or who have to go somewhere with family where they can't take their pets, they are your target audience. They will drop pets at your home, and your only job is to take care of them.

Presented by Dylan

Empowering Women In The Workforce - Forbes

Posted: 03 Apr 2020 04:32 AM PDT

Getty

There are many stories of successful women business owners whose endeavors inspired other entrepreneurs to take the leap and pursue investments. These women-owned businesses play an essential role in reinvigorating local economies and revitalizing cities.

According to a report conducted by American Express, 42% of all American businesses are owned by women. This cohort generates $1.9 trillion and employs 9.4 million workers. As small-business owners and as corporate executives, women are driving economic growth in this country.

The numbers show us that women are contributing to business growth, but they also show that women's business opportunity lags behind that of men. So, how do we create a more equal playing field to encourage women? In my experience as a CEO, I've found the following to be effective:

Lead by example: Advance women to leadership positions.

Too often we lead with words and not actions. If you want to show that your company values women, create pathways into leadership. Mentorship programs help ensure both their success on that path and that their voices are part of the decision-making process. Fifty percent of consumers are women, and the best way to tap into that market is to have your firm's leaders be representative of your consumer base. Often, women offer a different perspective than men, which presents an opportunity for the inclusion of more diverse ideas. It is crucial to make sure these ideas are part of an organization's larger conversation.

At my organization, we are lucky to have female leadership in our board of directors, advisory committees and on our staff. The talented, capable women in those roles serve as mentors and examples for less experienced female leaders to lean into the mentorship and networking opportunities we have created through our formal and informal employee networks.

By removing obstacles to the elevation of women, not only to the chairperson role but also at all levels of the organization, companies large and small can improve their inclusiveness, better represent the communities they serve and, importantly, create better business outcomes.

Create benefits that fit your team.

Many women reduce their hours or exit the workforce after having children. Look at the STEM field, specifically, more than 40% of women leave their jobs or switch to working part time after having their first child, according to a study reported in Nature. To put this in perspective, that same study found that only 23% of fathers leave or reduce their working hours.

Although there are a number of reasons women might leave their full-time jobs after becoming mothers, I believe the choice is all too often driven by inflexible work hours and high child-care costs.

If you want to retain top talent, your schedule and benefits need to fit your workforce. Flexible hours, for example, might be attractive to staff with elderly parents or children who need to balance school, care and other scheduling issues. These scheduling benefits assist both women and men with their responsibilities. Firms looking to remain competitive need to keep working parents on board. The best way to do this is to make it possible for them to stay.

Encourage fair wage negotiations.

My daughters often ask me for advice when it comes to their careers and making the most of their opportunities. One of the pieces of advice I can't stress enough is their need to advocate for themselves in the workplace, especially when it comes to salary.

But fair pay shouldn't be contingent on who is the squeakiest wheel. As employers, we should strive for salaries that even the playing field and are based on quality and quantity of work.

Women are integral to the American economy. Their value to firms cannot be understated and must be recognized. In order to do this, businesses should consider ways for them to grow with the organization and ensure they aren't left behind or passed over. Finding ways that are on-brand for a company to provide benefits or encourage fair pay are key to promoting women in the workforce and society as a whole.

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