I’m a huge advocate of women in business.
I grew up in an Asian culture that doesn’t traditionally support women or nurture their personal freedom.
Even though my parents encouraged me to get a good education and work hard, their main goal was to prepare me for marriage, not business.
As a result, my journey to becoming an entrepreneur was not a smooth one.
That’s why I’m always inspired by strong, successful female entrepreneurs.
I love to find out what motivated them to start a business, what challenges they had to overcome and of course what helped them succeed.
If you’re curious about these things too then take a look at this infographic by Merchant Money. It charts the rise of women in business over the last 20 years.
While the stats focus on the UK I’m sure you’ll find them interesting. You may even notice similar trends where you live.
The Rise Of Women In Business
It’s crazy to think that 20 years ago less than 650,000 women in the UK were self employed. We’ve come a long way since then and it’s great that today more and more women are starting a business.
We are after all 50% of the world’s population!
However, I was surprised by the high failure rates among female entrepreneurs, given that we live in the age of the Internet.
I believe this high churn rate is down to a lack of support from family, friends and peers, but also low confidence.
Many women find themselves juggling full-time work alongside family commitments. If they also want to set up a business, then without a support network it can quickly become too much.
Unfortunately, when this happens it is the business that suffers.
Add to this self esteem issues and the isolation of working for yourself and it’s easy to see why women find it hard to keep their business going.
The Right Business Model
Besides support from people around you and self confidence, if you want to make your start up a success it’s absolutely critical that you also choose the right business model.
One that fits in with your lifestyle and your goals.
You don’t need tons of money either.
In most cases, you can get an online business going for under $100.
This is way less risky than setting up a bricks-and mortar business, as I found out myself.
Because when I set up my offline business several years ago, online marketing was in its infancy. If you wanted to start a business, you needed investment – either your own money or someone else’s.
So I invested my life savings and raised around $200,000 to cover stock, premises, staff and so on.
I put everything on the line and was under a lot of pressure to succeed right from the start.
While some people thrive under that kind of pressure, most of us don’t – me included. Looking back, it’s no surprise that the business failed.
But this experience taught me a very valuable lesson – always test your idea first on a limited budget and grow it organically.
If it works, then scale it.
That’s why an online business is a great way to experiment, test your idea and tweak things until they work without stressing yourself out or over extending yourself financially.
Small successes also build confidence, which has the added bonus of helping your personal development.
So what’s stopping you?
Over To You
What stood out for you in this infographic about women in business? Has the data in the infographic motivated you to start your own online business? Please comment below.