Why the Number of Successful Women Entrepreneurs is Growing


Over the past 20 years, the number of businesses owned by women has grown more than 42%. In 2004, the Center for Women’s Business Research stated that women own 10.6 million businesses in the United States; they employ 19.1 million workers (that’s one in every seven employees!); and, their businesses account for $2.5 trillion in sales.

What Makes Women Entrepreneurs Successful?

Although more and more women are eager to become small business owners, they still face more challenges and obstacles than men. The numbers indicate that many women–owned businesses reach the million-dollar mark, but businesses owned by women are nearly 50% less likely to reach that goal than their male counterparts, making their investments of time and money less profitable than those of men. What characteristics contribute to the success of the percentage of women who do make or exceed the million-dollar mark?

First of all, this woman focuses on growth. Running a business is sure to be filled with a ton of details that crop up every day of every week of every month of every year. However, the successful female entrepreneur stays focused on the big picture, continually prioritizing tasks, so that she is always aware of the highest and best use of her time.

Second, this woman takes the time and effort to select and train her team. Since she knows she cannot “do it all” alone, she carefully selects a team that is aligned with her goals. This is time well-spent because her team supports her and, in many cases, represents her to her customers and vendors alike. She also creates policies and procedures that define her team’s responsibilities and operating procedures, thus providing them with the boundaries they need to function, while allowing her to maintain control of their actions. Having a trained team in place frees her to use her time and talents to grow the business.

Third, she understands the importance of marketing and forecasting. Most successful female entrepreneurs start companies with the expectation that they are building a business they can sell or pass on to their children. Understanding their target market inside and out, and being able to forecast market forces accurately helps her grow a business that people will want to purchase.

Fourth, the successful entrepreneur works hard and plays hard. The successful female entrepreneur puts in many long hours and she is willing to work at whatever it takes to make the business a huge (not mediocre – but huge) success. She understands that work is work and that there is always another day. She feels comfortable with her time management and boundary-setting abilities, thus she will never be a slave to demanding customers. When she works, she works; and when she plays she plays. In short, she has work/life balance.

Fifth, she has mastered the skill of branding, marketing, and selling herself and her business. This is a major factor in her financial success. Her personal and company brand is synonymous with quality.

Sixth, she has mastered the art of perspective. When things get rough, and when running a business they will, she stays focused and does not let things get her down. She does not take challenges and setbacks personally and keeps focused on the big picture.

Seventh, successful women entrepreneurs tend to be socially responsible, and doing good helps their businesses do well. For example, a woman is far less likely than a male entrepreneur to take certain actions, such as moving her company to another state, eliminating staff or reducing employee benefits in response to tax increases. Women entrepreneurs tend to treat their employees better, and give back more to their communities. These actions help shape emerging financial markets and movements. The fact is that the number of $1 million plus companies owned by women has grown 31% from 2002 through 2012.

Any woman with an entrepreneurial spirit would do well to review the seven qualities listed in this article, and recognize which of these she has, which she needs to cultivate, and which she can improve. The research is in. These seven traits are critical to being a successful woman entrepreneur. You have the desire. Learn and follow your dreams!



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