In the past 20 years, the number of women-owned businesses in the US has increased by a staggering 114%. Data shows that the number of female entrepreneurship is on the rise across a number of metrics:
Luckily, there’s never been a better time for women to access business resources designed specifically to assist them. From funding allocated for female entrepreneurs to new mentorship programs and communities like Ladies Get Paid, there are lots of ways to get started in building a business. Here are just a few places to look for advice, support, financing, and more when starting and running your business.
Studies have shown that individuals with mentors end up finding greater career success. Better opportunities, raises, and promotions have been directly linked to working with someone who can guide you and offer advice. For entrepreneurs, mentorship is particularly important; yet women often come up against the “old boys club” mentality that prevents them from finding mentors with the same ease as men. If you’re finding it hard to get good guidance, here are some places to look for a mentor.
Despite how many female entrepreneurs are starting businesses, funding remains relatively limited. Unfortunately, only 16% of small business loans go to women entrepreneurs. There are some loans, grants, and venture capital firms that cater specifically to women entrepreneurs; here’s a few that stand out from the crowd. In addition to these resources, check out our guide to Small business loans for African-American women entrepreneurs.
Have a great idea, and not sure what to do with it? It’s not necessary to get an MBA (and rack up those student loans) in order to start a business. These resources can help you learn accounting, hiring, logistics, and operations skills you need to get your business off the ground. From incubators to online courses, check out some of these options for learning how to lead and run a business.
According to economic reports, employment at women-owned businesses rose by 21% from 2007–2018; compare this to the 0.8% decline for employment at all business over the same period, and it’s clear that women entrepreneurs have a lot to offer. If it’s one of your goals to employ more women, check out some of these sites. There’s nothing more powerful than women supporting other women.
Looking for inspiration to get you started? Check out these organizations involved in advocacy on behalf of women in business. There are also some great podcasts, blogs, and books to help you get motivated.
For more resources, check out the 5 Questions series on the Clover Blog for answers to some of the burning questions keeping business owners up at night.