Tag Archives: women business leaders


3 Ways Women in Business Can Overcome Challenges and Get Ahead

Did you know that more than 9 million firms in the United States are women-owned? In fact women business owners have close to 8 million employees and generate over $1.5 trillion in sales, as per the National Association of Women Business Owners.

Although more and more women are venturing into entrepreneurship the challenges they face are often not the same as their male counterparts entering the business world.

Here are 3 ways women in business can overcome challenges and get ahead:

1.Get over social stigma

When you walk into a crowded networking seminar and you can count the number of women there on your fingertips it can get intimidating. However, you’ve made it this far so being true to who you are and believing in what you have to offer and what you bring to the table can give you the boost of confidence you need to find your voice in situations where you might feel singled out. Also, understanding that if you don’t speak up for your business and make it known, no one else will.

Build a support system.

According to Inc. close to fifty percent of all women entrepreneurs don’t have mentors that can help propel their business growth. When you’re trying to blaze your way in the world of male-dominated businesses, having the advice of a woman mentor who has ‘been there and done that’ can be extremely helpful. But the challenge is in finding a reliable support system. Certifying your business as woman-owned can not only help you get found by procurement officials but also directly enroll you to attend conferences designed to get you networking with other like-minded women owned businesses and find promising mentorship opportunities.

Find work/life balance

Whether you’re a man or a woman, finding work-life balance is no doubt hard, however in the case of women and especially mothers who venture into entrepreneurship most would agree that dealing with the business would get a lot easier if you didn’t have the kids to deal with! The key is to not beat yourself up or sweat the small stuff and come to terms with the fact that you got into this knowing that your responsibilities will be shared between the family and the business.

WBEC-West provides an excellent platform for your business to grow, connect with other businesses in both your local community and nationwide, and be a mentor to other women businesses. Learn more.



Are you a Woman with an Entrepreneurial Spirit? Top 11 Questions to Ask Yourself!

Do you consider yourself to be a successful woman entrepreneur? Today’s women business owners are highly skilled, talented, sharp and technologically savvy.

But more than that, they all share one common denominator – they have an unstoppable entrepreneurial drive and spirit that keeps them going!

There’s no doubt that more women are entering the business world today than ever before – there are those venturing in after years of child-rearing, multi-taskers who are balancing both business and family life and women with a strong entrepreneurial drive ready to take on the world.

It can be said that women are wired for juggling business and family and multi-tasking, but do all women have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur?

Here are top 10 questions to ask yourself to assess if you make the grade to be a successful entrepreneur:

  1. Have I always wanted to be my own boss?
  2. Do I take direction well from others,­ or have a mind of my own and want to live on my own terms?
  3. Am I ambitious?
  4. Is money a motivating factor for me? Do I want to build wealth?
  5. Can I take calculated risks?
  6. Do I like to be in control?
  7. Can I handle failure? Can I fail and start again?
  8. Am I passionate about what I am doing?
  9. Do I make decisions quickly and can set things in motion?
  10. Do I like to get things done and not procrastinate?
  11. Do I look at the big picture, can plan and start things with the end in mind?

How many did you check off? Even if you picked a few and have the motivation and drive to pursue your dreams, you have an entrepreneurial spirit waiting to emerge.

If you really want to take the step to starting your own business do your research and be prepared. The journey ahead is going to be exciting, but certainly not easy. Talk to women in business. Find a mentor. Join a community.

At WBEC-West we support women business owners to get more business, grow and be successful. Getting certified could be an excellent step to connect with like-minded women,­ discover game-changing mentorship opportunities and join a vibrant WBE community. Learn more.

woman business owners

Are Women Better Business Owners? Here are 5 Reasons Why…

Do women make better business owners and managers? If you’re a woman thinking about starting a business and are afraid to take the first step, or if you’re a man contemplating about asking a woman to be your business partner here is some food for thought.

Here are 5 reasons why women are successful in business:

  • Research and due diligence: According to the SBA, “U.S. women have far less business failures than men,” and “The longevity of their businesses surpasses that of men’s.”
    One reason for this is that before taking the plunge into anything women are known to do their research, get all the facts together, investigate and not cut corners. This in one sense allows women to make better business decisions leading to higher business success.
  • Questions, questions, questions:  You may not like it but often women are known to ask lots of questions to get to the bottom of things. Questions help to clear doubt, remove confusion, and zero in on what really needs to be done. Clearing things up on the get-go before any business involvement, can go a long way in doing business transactions, which make women excellent business partners.
  • They listen: This might not come as a surprise but women can often be much better listeners. Although women may ask questions first, they are also careful to listen to the answers they get back. This allows a woman to quickly understand the pain points of her customers and empowers her with the information required to provide the products and services that the customer actually needs.
  • Relationships are key: This is by far one of the biggest strengths a woman has – her ability to form and develop relationships. Business relationships and networking with the right people can often form the backbone of a woman-owned businesses. Strong relationships also fuel lasting loyalty which is why women continue to be successful and profitable and are able to main long-lasting relationships with business partners, customers and employees.
  • Empathy: Some may think that being compassionate can be seen as a sign of weakness, but for many women, it’s the reason for being so successful. Having empathy allows women to build deeper relationships with employees, for example, who stay loyal and will go out of the way to help her succeed. Empathizing with customers shows them that she cares about their problems, which helps to not only build client trust but also helps her to possibly find a better solution to their problems.

    Are you a woman business owner? Which points most struck a chord with you? Let us know in the comments below!


Three Challenges Facing Women Entrepreneurs Today

No doubt, women are crucial to economic growth around the world. Unlike men women entrepreneurs see the world through a different lens. For example, in the case of Coco Chanel, she learned to be a seamstress at a very young age or Oprah Winfrey for instance, whose media business aims to help women reach their full potential.

However the numbers speak a little differently. As per the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, there are 126 million women operating new businesses and another 98 million running established ones. Yet, around the world there is a major gap with only  7 countries where women partake in business at rates equal to men.

Here in the United States women own 3 out of 10 firms, yet only employ 6% of the nation’s workforce and account for only 4% of business revenues.

That’s actually not that surprising since it’s no secret that women in business face many obstacles, from finding work-life balance to securing financing to start or grow their company.

There are three priorities that need to be in place to support women entrepreneurs.

1. Access to capital from financial institutions or micro-finance providers, as small loans can make a big difference.

2. Support from experienced mentors and trusted advisors to share industry insight and provide guidance.

For example, at WBEC-West, we’ve seen firsthand that women entrepreneurs  will often network with other women at our quarterly matchmaking events – it doesn’t matter if one woman runs a printing business and the other is a contractor – most of us face similar challenges and we can all learn from one another.

3. Business Education and entrepreneurial learning is critical to give women the confidence to see large-scale ideas through and learn the skills they need to manage their business and in turn pay it forward by becoming mentors for other women.

To assist women business owners procure more business from corporations and Federal agencies, WBEC-West provides certification for women-owned businesses, helping them get ahead of the game. Want to learn more? Click here.


Top 3 Leadership Secrets for Women Business Leaders

If you manage your own business you know what a rewarding experience it is. You’re not only faced with interesting and challenging work on a daily basis but you’re also making a difference and impacting the lives of your staff and the community at large.

To accelerate your success here are three leadership secrets every woman business leader should know:

Secret #1 – Build your network

You might think you’re pretty busy right now with current clients or that since you don’t have a career or job, business networking is not as important anymore. Think again! Networking is key – not only outside your company to bring in more business, but also internally to understand your staff and corporate culture – this is critical to your business survival. Hosting team building or corporate training workshops in-house or attending business matchmakers can be a great way to build both external and internal allies and have a strong network.

Secret #2 — Master your emotions

Learning to master your emotions is a skill and an important one to develop. Being able to communicate well, listen and effectively handle unpleasant situations or conflict is critical at the leadership level you’re at right now. In fact, your ability to lead and influence is more important than your technical know-how at this point.

Emotional Intelligence (EI), which is now increasingly popular is your ability to  manage your emotions and relate effectively with others.  In a study of over 200 companies by Hunter et al, they found that high performers were 127% more productive than average performers.  Research indicated that 1/3rd of the difference in the two was due to technical and cognitive (IQ) ability, while 2/3rds was due to competence in the area of EI.  This shows that EI competency is an important determinant of being a effective leader.

Secret #3 — Select a mentor

In a study conducted by the authors of  Breaking the Glass Ceiling, they found that only 38% of successful men had mentors, but all of the women executives who procured senior ranks in organizations had them. This means mentorship is critical to growth and if you currently don’t have a mentor you should give this area some serious thought.

A mentor can give you advice on the next steps you could take in any given situation, on how to get visibility and recognition, and how to play the game in your business niche. You can make the setup as formal or informal as you’re comfortable with. A mentor can also be an excellent motivator and can un-tap potential talent you didn’t know you had. Find out more about the WBEC-West Ambassador Program and see if it’s right for you.