Female Entrepreneurship: In-Depth Case Study [2022]

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the millennial money woman blog post "female entrepreneurship"

Female entrepreneurs have had a remarkable impact on the economy. Find out how and why female entrepreneurship has sky-rocketed and become the new norm.

In this article

Key Takeaways

  • Mindset and perception are 2 key elements entrepreneurs control better than the average person
  • Female entrepreneurship increased by 3,000% since 1972
  • The highest number of female entrepreneurs by age range is between ages 40 to 44
  • Female entrepreneurs own 4 out of every 10 businesses in America
  • In the start-up industry, female entrepreneurs earn 2x more money than male entrepreneurs

Female Entrepreneurship: Women in Business


You know how sometimes people just know they are destined for something? Like a job, a sport – or a business? 

Well I wasn’t. 

When I was young, I changed my mind about who I wanted to become probably as often as I changed clothes – no kidding. 

Some of the jobs I wanted to do included:

  • Paleontologist (Dinosaur Specialist)
  • Lawyer
  • Astronaut
  • Formula 1 Racer
  • Hollywood Actress
  • Professional Dog Sitter
  • Wall Street Stock Broker

And none of those dreams became a reality for me – and that’s OK!

I guess that’s why we dream in the first place. 

However, I can tell you for a fact that becoming a business owner and running my personal finance blog never was a part of my plan (and I’m a pretty structured person). 

Even though I never knew becoming a female entrepreneur was in my DNA – I did have some basic passions that I knew while growing up. 

"By embracing - and developing - my passions, becoming a female entrepreneur just came naturally."

My passions are:

  • Writing
  • Personal Finance

So, I put these 2 passions together – and voila! 

I am a personal finance blogger who helps people make more money, save more money, and pay down debt to help realize their future financial goals

And to be honest, if you already know your passion – and know what gets you excited, then why not try to think of a way to start your own company or business?

Don’t get me wrong here: I’m not saying throw your current job or career out the door and start from scratch tomorrow. 

But what I am saying is start doing your research, see if there is a potential job (or business that you can start) out there for yourself. 

Try to pair your passions together (for example, if you love anything to do with sports and enjoy writing – start a sports blog).

"Start doing your research, determine if there is a job or business potential and pair your passions together for higher chances of success."

As you start your sidepreneurship (more on this term, later) and as you see continued success, you may then have the ability to transition from your current 9 to 5 job to running your side-business to your now full-time business!

Keep in mind: It just takes time. 

Let’s examine some of the ways female entrepreneurs are turning businesses right-side-up and winning at it simultaneously!

Mindset


To be successful – and to build a business literally from nothing – entrepreneurs maintain and employ a very different mindset compared to your regular 9 to 5 worker. 

That comment is not trying to downgrade the salaried employee – it’s simply a fact. 

The most notable difference in an entrepreneurial mindset versus the salaried worker’s mindset really has to do with 2 perspectives:

  • How an entrepreneur approaches challenges
  • How an entrepreneur approaches mistakes

The day to day grind of a business can take a massive toll on really any entrepreneur – even the most energetic and charismatic entrepreneur I know has down days. That’s ok. 

"To keep that spark and motivation alive, entrepreneurs refer to their vision literally on a daily basis."

Entrepreneurs are committed and do not lose sight of their goals, even when there are days – or weeks – at a time when things just don’t seem to go their way. 

That’s why maintaining a growth mindset – a mindset focused on opportunity even during failure – is so important. 

Mindset Growth Techniques for Entrepreneurs:

  • Set aside time each day to focus on your goals 
  • The more you challenge yourself, the better an entrepreneur you will be
  • Fail forward – mistakes are opportunity for growth
  • Consider all angles when approaching a problem
the millennial money woman blog post "Mindset Growth Techniques for Entrepreneurs"

Maintaining a mindset focused on growth and opportunity is very important if you plan to become an entrepreneur, because the chances that your business will fail in the first few years is extremely high.

Let’s take a look using an example of 1,000 new business start-ups:

Year in Business Chances Business Will Fail Number of Businesses Remaining
0
0%
1000
1
20%
800
2
30%
560
5
50%
280
10
70%
84

Image: The Millennial Money Woman | Source: Fundera

That means out of 1,000 start-up businesses, only 84 will survive after 10 years. 

So yes, the odds are stacked up pretty heavily against you.

Let’s take a closer look at how your selected industry can help or hurt your entrepreneurial venture:

Industry Type Chances of Failure - Year 5
Health Care
40%
Social Assisstance
40%
Construction
65%
Transportation
60%
Warehousing
60%

Image: The Millennial Money Woman | Source: Fundera

So, if you are a health care expert, chances are that your business will more likely survive than if you decided to found a start-up in the transportation or warehousing industries.

What are the Signs that You are Ready to Become an Entrepreneur?


Below are some sure-fire signs that indicate whether or not you are ready to start the entrepreneurial journey:

  • You are not afraid of learning
  • You are detail-oriented
  • You are resourceful
  • You are innovative and creative
  • You are not risk-averse
  • Your time management skills are sublime
  • You enjoy being in control
  • You have excellent money-skills
the millennial money woman blog post "signs you are ready to become an entrepreneur"

Now let’s take the time to explore why women, in particular, are turning more toward entrepreneurship.

Why More Women are Turning to Entrepreneurship 


At the dawn of the new century, one trend has been growing steadily: Females turning to entrepreneurship.

In fact, based on a 2018 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report survey by American Express, female entrepreneurship increased close to a staggering 3,000% from 1972.

That means female entrepreneurs open roughly 1,817 new businesses per day in just the United States between 2018 to 2019.

the millennial money woman blog post "New Women-Owned Businesses"

Image: The Millennial Money Woman | Source: American Express 2019 State of Women-Owned Business Report 

This graphic clearly demonstrates a positive trend over the past 2 decades – with over a 160% jump of new female entrepreneurs per day between the 2002-2007 range and the 2007-2012 range.

In fact, female entrepreneurs now make up about 40% of new entrepreneurs in total.

Pursuing female entrepreneurship may be the right fit for you – but it might not yet be the right time for you.

Timing is everything – because a lot of successful female entrepreneurs tend to carry their work experience into their business start-ups, so the typical female entrepreneur is actually around 40 to 50 years old.

the millennial money woman blog post "Women Business Operators"

Image: The Millennial Money Woman | Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, June 2014

In the years that I have coached and mentored clients as well as young professionals, I have noticed a clear perception that the more industry knowledge and experience one has, the more likely that person feels comfortable transitioning to running a start-up business, with a specialization in their career or field.

Moreover, it has become apparent that female entrepreneurs and their businesses experience a much higher growth rate when compared to businesses in general.

the millennial money woman blog post "Women-Owned vs. All Businesses"

Image: The Millennial Money Woman | Source: American Express 2019 State of Women-Owned Business Report

This graphic illustrates that female-owned companies experienced a 21% growth rate between 2014 and 2019 over just a 9% growth rate of all other businesses during that same time period.

While female-run businesses grew by 21% from 2014 to 2019, the growth rate of businesses founded by females of color was almost 2 times that – with a staggering 43%.

Female Entrepreneurs: Types Growth Rate from 2014 to 2019
Female Entrepreneurs: All types
21%
Female Entrepreneurs: Women of Color
43%
Female Entrepreneurs: African American
50%
Female Entrepreneurs: Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
41%
Female Entrepreneurs: Latina/Hispanic
40%
Female Entrepreneurs: Asian American
37%
Female Entrepreneurs: Native American/Alaska Native
26%

Image: The Millennial Money Woman | Source: American Express 2019 State of Women-Owned Business Report

The point here is this: Female entrepreneurship is becoming a dominant force in the business world, regardless of industry.

Women (including myself) often see entrepreneurship as an escape from the everyday life of the 9 to 5 job. 

Entrepreneurship often symbolizes freedom for many – it’s a world full of opportunities (and risks). 

And the scariest step is the first one.

Benefits for Females in Entrepreneurship

  • Flexibility
  • Reduction in Gender Pay Gap
  • Rapid advancements
  • Increased control
  • Pursuit of Passion
the millennial money woman blog post "benefits for female entrepreneurs"

Pro: Flexibility


Who doesn’t like flexibility in their lives?

One thing is for sure: Females LOVE flexibility, especially seeing that women are often the primary family caretakers – whether it’s the kids or elderly parents. 

"One of the key reasons why women decide to start their own business is because women need work flexibility to accommodate their family’s needs at home."

This statistic makes sense – and was found through this research study by Sarah Thébaud.

I have 1 statistic that’s even better:

"74% of females stated workplace flexibility is more important than earning more money."

Ironically, it seems like women prefer flexibility, while men crave control. 

There’s a reason why we are so different, isn’t there?

Increased job flexibility does have many benefits – and COVID-19 may be a catalyst that propels the more traditional corporate job structures to bend a little more and add some flexibility.

Benefits of job flexibility:

  • Autonomy
  • Ability to set your own schedule
  • Less stress & pressure
  • More life balance
  • Healthier lifestyle
  • More time with family
  • Potentially the ability to work from home
the millennial money woman blog post "benefits of job flexibility"

However, I should note that 57% of the women surveyed did state they did not enjoy answering to a boss.

Ultimately, if flexibility is a must for you – and you just can’t seem to find that feature in your current job, you may want to consider entering the world of entrepreneurship.

Pro: Reduction in Gender Pay Gap


If you run your own business – chances are you will charge what you are actually worth!

That sounds intuitive – to charge what you are worth – doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, the gender pay gap is still a pretty big issue in the modern-day and age.

"Full-time corporate women on average earn $0.80 cents on every $1.00 that their male counterparts earn."

And no – I’m not dissing our fellow male colleagues. I’m not dissing anyone.

I’m saying that the root cause of the problem could possibly be our corporate structure.

Now, if you are a woman and simply don’t put in the effort that your male colleagues put in, then you don’t deserve to be paid as much. That’s fair.

However, it’s also fair that if you are a woman and you do put in as much work as your male counterparts, you should be paid equally. That’s fair.

"Sadly, if we continue with the current rate of progress as it relates to diminishing the gender pay gap – women and men would be paid equally in 2119!"

That is NOT ok for me.

Sometimes, if you have really poured your time and effort into your corporate job but see no results – and even if you’ve talked to your direct boss about a promotion, but still there’s nothing – it might be time to take matters into your own hands.

That’s what I did. And I love it. 

I am earning my worth. So should you.

Pro: Rapid Advancements


Probably the single most important reason why I am so passionate about entrepreneurship is because my advancement or success within my company is strictly based on how much effort I put into my work. 

Entrepreneurship doesn’t have:

  • No office politics
  • No office gossip
  • No strict office hours
  • No “weird” office traditions

That’s why running your own business is so rewarding: You literally establish your own work culture. 

If you love office gossip, then chances are you’ll likely hire people that enjoy that too, as your company grows. 

On the other hand, if you value a family-focused environment, then chances are you’ll likely hire people to fi