According to the World Economic Forum, women’s entrepreneurship rates rose globally by 13% in 2017 and continue to rise. This rise reflects the broader momentum of increased female representation across the public and private sectors in many regions of the world.
“Underrepresentation of women in business is a missed opportunity, from both social and economic standpoints. Women represent the largest market opportunity and control $20 trillion in annual spending. When we invest in women, their communities, states, and countries prosper, which generates a multiplier effect and sets a positive example for the next generation of girls. In fact, it’s been shown that when women earn an income, they invest 90% back into their communities”. – Karen Quintos, Chief Customer Officer, DELL.
The time has never been right for everyone, especially, women to embrace entrepreneurship. For us women to have the power to instigate change in our homes, communities, and nation at large, we have to harness the gift of entrepreneurship. But this does not come on a silver platter.
Women entrepreneurs today are the most resilient, brave, and disciplined women who have sacrificed some part of their lives to passionately pursue a cause only they can decipher.
Today, more women have made the commitment, regardless of their gender, to change the status quo not only in their communities but on national and international fronts – all these, mostly thanks to entrepreneurship.
Thriving tips for women entrepreneurs
My focus in this piece, however, will dwell on how women will not only become entrepreneurs but how they can ensure this upward mobility and lead whilst at it.
It’s no news that the business terrain in most industries is rough and saturated. This is the more reason why as women, we need to study and implement strategies that will make us thrive and put us at the forefront in our varied industries.
Thriving in business at an age that is considered as the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ – where we are about to start dealing with robotics and blockchain-based systems, where Artificial Intelligence is beginning to take root in our everyday lives, – things can never be the same again! Operation systems and mechanisms must, therefore, undergo a paradigm shift like never before.
For women-owned businesses to thrive, we must keep abreast with, and implement global business trends.
But how do we do it?
1. Start Local, But Think Global
Women are spending more and more time in the labor market and as a result, getting great business experience. This implies that there’s more human capital available for startups to keep sprouting.
However, for women to stay in business and thrive, we have to start where we are with what we have. This involves solving our immediate problems and then, reaching out to other parts of the world in a systematic pace.
How can one do this?
By seeking connections and increasing access to local and global networks and markets.
No matter the size of your business, you must be able to have a global vision. That’s if you want to lead in that sector.
Make room for global, open standards, and reliable mechanisms for cross-border data transfers, business support services, and networks. Do all this while providing sufficient protections for privacy and information security.
2. Diversify Company Culture
In a dizzying world where trends keep changing overnight, businesses must ‘stay woke,’ nurturing a culture that suits your target market. The flexibility with which you run your business will determine the clients you attract to keep doing business with.
3. Embrace Technology
A few years back, Business Studies did not need one to learn or utilize all these algorithms we see today. You did business on the field and your profits were tangible. Today, however, with the Internet of Things, one has to master science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and digital literacy to have a competitive edge.
Today, more than ever before, women must master hardware, software, and digital tools and resources to scale their companies.
4. Invest in Gaining More Knowledge and Skills
As a business owner, there is no better investment than investing in one’s knowledge and skills set. In fact, to grow in any area of life – business or career – you must update your CV every quarter if possible. The Internet is the most resourceful asset of this age. It contains billions of articles on diverse topics that learning and acquiring new skills is something within finger reach.
Women must attend industry conferences and grow their network to be more productive and innovative. But most especially, to grow their net worth and acquire authority in their fields.
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