While entrepreneurship has generally been male dominated, the timing has never been better for women to be entrepreneurs too.
At the last In-Tune talk on Women in Leadership, I shared about the dynamics and factors that have changed in favour of women in business. We are not just talking about businesses which have traditionally high female representation such as HR, but pretty much just about any industry.
1. Technology as an enabler
Technology is a wonderful thing, it has made significant improvements to our lives and is a key enabler in putting more women in entrepreneurship roles. Take for example, I myself have been able to carry out photo/video journalism all by myself when LadyBoss first began. It wouldn’t have been the case in the past where cameras, video cameras and equipment were so heavy and I probably wouldn’t have been able to manage myself.
The rise of mobile apps and communication tools such as Slack and project management teams are key in enabling team collaboration, even for remote working. This is a huge aspect for many women entrepreneurs who are also mums and they need the flexibility to work and care for their family at the same time. With these tools, a mumpreneur would be able to easily coordinate with her team while preparing meals for her kids and stay connected even when she sends them to school.
2. The Evolution of Social Media
A closely related topic to technology is the rise of social media. In fact, women dominate the social media such as Facebook with a higher representation of 76% compared to 66% of men. The trends are also similar when we look at Instagram (20% vs 15%), Twitter (22% vs 15%) and Pinterest (33% vs 8%). The reason? More women use social media to connect to their friends and women are also probably more visual which may explain the high use rate of Pinterest and Instagram.
More importantly, marketing and selling on the internet is shifting into social which is great for women entrepreneurs whether they are running their own business and helping to consult other businesses. The best part of it is that marketing on social media doesn’t cost anything if you just to do it organically and is far more intuitive than say search engine optimisation.
3. Society Perceptions and Role Models
Society perceptions has also shifted dramatically with more and more women not only maintaining their career path but more women are also starting their own business. Women’s disposable income has increased significantly as a result and it is a good time to start a business catered to women.
The numbers of successful business women especially locally, such as those featured on LadyBoss also help to serve as role models to inspire more women to go down the entrepreneurship route. Through our portal and media, we hope to also showcase more inspiring women leaders.
4. Rise of Women Entrepreneur, Business Mentorship Groups and Events
Where business networking events and groups has been generally dominated by men, there is a rise of women entrepreneur groups, business mentorship groups such as the LadyBoss Elite. At LadyBoss, we run women entrepreneur events as well as actively take part in other women centric events.
Taking part in events and groups is a great way to build networks and also learn more about businesses from different angles. It doesn’t matter if you have no clue how to begin or looking to take your business to the next level, there are groups which will be suitable for all levels.
Why women should support each other
While I may have given many reasons to be an entrepreneur, women entrepreneurs still face challenges such as lack of support and knowledge. There is also discrimination against women in business i.e. little credit given, insulting remarks which are totally uncalled for. While women entrepreneurship is growing, we are still a minority and supporting each other is the best way to grow together.
Entrepreneurship can be lonely journey, but it doesn’t have to be. That’s the reason why we setup our peer support group for women entrepreneurs LadyBoss Elite. A key element of success is to have mentors and a strong support network which we seek to provide with our close knit group of elite members.