Women have never been more engaged in the workforce and more women than ever before are taking leadership positions across industries. Yet many still face barriers in achieving their goals.
Money sees no gender, yet women entrepreneurs often struggle to secure funding necessary to expand their businesses. Obstacles they face range from social norms and legal restrictions that prevent them from realizing their full potential.
Women possess distinctive business skills that set them apart in the marketplace. Furthermore, they have access to special financing assistance as well as government resources.
If baking is your passion, launching a bakery or offering custom baked goods online could be the perfect business venture for you. Catering services also make great businesses to enter – especially if they specialize in gluten-free or vegan food options.
Athletic abilities may make for great fitness coaches who can set their own hours around family commitments and work around them. If math is your forte, consider starting a bookkeeping or accounting business instead. Although accounting requires additional training to begin operations successfully and earn some extra income.
Check with your local Small Business Administration office to determine whether there are lenders who give special consideration to women-owned businesses, while consulting services offered by federal Minority Business Development Agency can also assist in finding financing opportunities. Moreover, private grants such as Amber Grant or IFundWomen might also provide aid.
Identifying Your Passion
Figuring out your passion is often the key to developing business ideas for women, though this may be difficult to pinpoint. Hobbies may provide clues as well: for instance, if reading is your hobby then maybe becoming an author or teacher could be your passion!
If you need some guidance in finding your passions, try the rocking chair test: Imagine yourself when you are 90 years old sitting comfortably on a rocking chair looking back over your life reminiscing and thinking back about all you’ve achieved so far in life – what would be important enough to you that people remember you for? That is likely what it comes down to: your passion.
Once you know which area your passion lies within, the next step should be identifying which group would benefit most from your service or product. This is an essential step as it ensures your concept is truly original and addresses a market need; furthermore it enables you to set big goals for your passionate brand to help make business more successful while standing out among competitors and creating an iconic point-of-view.
Developing a Business Plan
As an entrepreneur, you will need to be passionate about your business and possess the necessary expertise in its industry to make it successful. Furthermore, be ready to invest in it long-term as it could take several months or years until profits start accruing.
Service industries provide many promising business ideas for women. You can launch freelance work which requires minimal startup investment; or incorporate and hire employees to expand the company.
Start a digital marketing agency or become a virtual assistant to offer social media management and other online marketing services to companies. Or consider becoming a virtual assistant, offering administrative or technical support remotely to clients – these businesses provide ideal options for women looking for self-employment from home.
Women entrepreneurs face additional barriers when it comes to accessing funding sources; finding sources can be especially daunting; however, grants and small-business loans offer alternatives.
The IFundWomen program works in partnership with numerous organizations to offer grant opportunities specifically targeted towards female entrepreneurs. Visit their website today to locate one that fits you!
Locate a Small Business Development Center or SCORE office near you and explore their financing solutions; these organizations know exactly who to talk to in terms of finding any local or national grants for women that you might qualify for.
The Ms. Foundation awards business owners who operate enterprises that advance women and girls, including businesses that work to end domestic violence or promote reproductive health. Furthermore, the Black Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative offers grants that promote minority-owned firms.