The gender gap in many a life sphere is a tale as old as time, and one that is finally being challenged more than ever – one dedicated, professional woman at a time. Since 2014, as many as 163 million women have started their own business, which is certainly a step in the right direction, even though the world has yet to enable the same opportunities for both genders. This slow, but significant upward trend, which shows more women in the business ranks, has also changed the overall entrepreneurial landscape.
Bringing about social changes
In many developing countries, women’s primary concerns do not include business funding as much as they include feeding their children and providing them a chance to be educated. However, organizations such as “Women United for Change” exemplify how a little can go a long way in helping women in impoverished environments build their own financial independence. As little as $50, in fact.
Specifically, this money goes to educate women who cannot afford schooling for themselves, and these 18 months of training are not only designed to better their lives, but to help them make a difference in their communities. Research of these programs shows that their impact spans all the way to reducing domestic violence, and women earning more relevant roles in their societies.
Increasing funding opportunities
Initially, statistics were staggeringly negative when it came to the amount of money which went into women-driven initiatives to start a business, as the majority of investments would go to all-male entrepreneurial efforts. Now, however, with more and more women calling the shots and turning a profit, there has been a slight shift in priorities – hopefully, we’ll see a much greater one in near future.
Women who understand the entrepreneurial struggles of their fellow business owners have started numerous funding opportunities to diminish this gap. For example, Vicki Saunders and her SheEO’s Radical Generosity aim to bring interest-free loans to women to start their own business ventures.
Allowing innovation to thrive
It’s a fierce world out there for women entrepreneurs, but an even fiercer one for ladies with the ambition to dive into the world of creative businesses. The competition is without a doubt one of the greatest hurdles, but up until recently, women also struggled to find the right tech support for their creative endeavors. Where there’s a need, there’s also an opportunity to enable change.
As the modern business tides are changing, it has become possible for women to implement, for example, fashion ERP software solutions that aim to simplify the numerous intricate processes of running your own label. With more technology on their side, women can automate a great deal of their daily tasks in order to focus on creative accomplishments and grow their brands.
Empowering female leadership
The existing climate of male-dominated leadership serves both as a suppressing force for women and as a driving force that has actually enabled women to show their true abilities in the leadership roles. A study conducted by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman delivered impressive data showing that women are, in fact, more efficient than their male counterparts in the roles of power.
It seems that this negative climate has inspired women to push against suppression to earn the same level of respect and authority that is a given for men across various industries. Currently, there is still a significant discrepancy in the number of women and men leaders, as only 24% of senior positions are actually filled by women. However, with such studies and more initiative being taken by women, this is bound to change, as it is already changing the perception of women in leadership roles.
Changing the essence of business
As more ladies join the business ranks, the entire business sphere is changing from its very core. Women in power are able to hire other women, thus providing more jobs to competent females all over the world. The cycle of positive empowerment continues, as women also introduce more innovative solutions, and then use their profit to bring about more meaningful changes through charity work and other forms of social activism.
With more women stepping up to the mark with brilliant ideas and bold initiatives, the world has yet to see more female entrepreneurs not only making it big and turning a profit, but making a proud statement for all ambitious women out there – it’s time for change.
Claire Hastings is a wanderer and a writer. She has written for as long as she can remember. She is very passionate about fashion, running, other cultures, and her cat.