Women in Entrepreneurship: Words of wisdom (Part 1 of 3)

Women are making a splash in business and they are supporting each other while doing so!

A recent Mashable article revealed that women, in the United States, have been starting businesses at a higher rate than men for the last 20 years.  The trend is toward home-based micro (less than 5 employees) and small businesses.  Women bring fresh and innovating perspectives to how to run a business. Here in BC we celebrated the creativity of female entrepreneurs last Friday, September 21st, at Innovating Differently: Women, Entrepreneurship & Technology.  The SBA team was lucky enough to attend this great event organized by women entrepreneurs to share their wisdom with peers and aspiring entrepreneurs. Hosted at Science World, in Vancouver, the event was coordinated by Startup Canada, BCIC and the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs. Here are a couple of tidbits of wisdom shared by the illustrious panel of inspiring women!

 “Just keep moving forward.” (Amielle Lake, Founder and XMO, Tagga Media)Innovating women presenters

We heard again and again that there are challenges to starting a business and failures happen. The entrepreneur must learn to take that failure as a lesson and try again. Other panelists shared that being an innovator can be intimidating, but all presenters agreed that it was well worth it, and that the life of an entrepreneur is an exhilarating one!

 “Focus!” (Maura Rodgers, Co-Founder Urbandig, Co-Founder, Strutta, Associate, Intio Group)

Entrepreneurs tend to be people excited about possibilities and opportunities. Several panel members regretted spreading themselves to thin and recommended focusing on one project at a time. Business plans were also encouraged as a means of staying focused and envisioning your business future.

“It’s more useful to focus on fulfillment, rather than balance.” (Shannon Ward, Co-Founder Ontrack Media, Co-Creator, PretirementLiving.com)

Women often struggle to balance their multiple roles as a moms, wives and business owners. The panel agreed that striving for balance was overrated. They suggested just accepting that there will be crazy weeks all about the business and relaxed weeks all about the family. That said - panelists also celebrated the fact that online retail and technology advances now make it much easier to be a mompreneur.

“Men and women do make things differently.” (Brenda Bailey Gershkovitch, Co-founder and CEO, Silicon Sisters)

Being a woman entrepreneur is an asset. Embrace the fact that you have a different vision and perspective and make it work for you. The panel shared their observation that when seeking funding women seem to be less likely to pursue venture capital. Panelists encouraged new female entrepreneurs to combine boldness with a firm understanding of your business’ finance needs. If you are pursuing investment seek out an investor whose interests and aims align with yours.

Thank you to FWE, BCIC and StartUp Canada for creating this opportunity to hear the stories and wisdom of local women shaking up the entrepreneurial world! Look for the next installment in our blog series Women in entrepreneurship: Finding support (Part 2). 

Reference:

Akalp, N. (2012, October). Why women make excellent entrepreneurs in the digital age. Mashable.

Last Updated: November 1, 2012

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