Now Is the Best Time for Women To Start a Business

Gilt began with an idea when two former acquaintances reconnected at a Harvard mixer for new students in 2002.  Five years later (2007), Gilt was born and is now valued at more than $1 billion.  It all began with one big idea – to bring sample sales online and change the way millions shop.

The Internet + biz idea = the women’s revolution of our time

One of the best things I’ve ever done was to start my own business.  I never had the intention of being in business nor did I think I had an entrepreneurial spirit.  However leaving corporate America to find freedom, flexibility, make more money than I could have imagined, to be at home when my son came home from school, and to have my dogs in my office left no doubts in my mind I made the best decision possible.

Today we are living in a true revolution because the Internet has changed the global business landscape and it gives anyone the opportunity to start a micro business around their passion and talents while creating a business that supports their life they want to live.

Welcome to the micro-entrepreneur economy.

This trend towards women opening businesses online is growing fast in the U.S., Europe and Australia.  I would like to add that I see this as a big growth area in Canada too although I don’t have statistics on that.

Seth Godin talks about the revolution often in his blog, which is the most popular marketing blog in the world.  He notes that we are still living in a post industrial revolution the way our schools teach our children to learn, and that we were taught that somebody (a company) would take care of us and give us a paycheck.

Why women are leaving corporate America.

No job is really secure anymore.  Yet this opens all of us to the huge opportunity of our time – you can become a micro-entrepreneur, which is a business that has five or less employees or contractors.

According to Fast Company’s article The Rise of the Micro-Entrepreneur there are nearly 4.1 million workers (14 out of a 100) who were self-employed as of the time this article came out 10 months ago.

The good news for us baby boomers is that a national survey released by Monster.com and Millennial Branding notes that baby boomers rated themselves as entrepreneurial and risk tolerant as compared to Gen Y.  Boomers Take More Risks, Start More Businesses Than Twentysomethings: Study. 

A separate analysis of Kauffman Foundation data in 2009 found that the average age of entrepreneurs is rising, with the largest growth in the 55–64 age range–and the smallest growth among 20- to 34-year-olds.

According to American Express OPEN’s 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report: A Summary of Important Trends, 1997-2013, as of 2013, it is estimated that there are over 8.6 million women-owned businesses in the United States, generating over $1.3 trillion in revenues and employing nearly 7.8 million people. The growth in the number, revenues and employment of women-owned firms over the past 16 years exceeds the growth rates of all but the very largest, publicly traded corporations in the country.

In a Forbes article titled Entreprenuership Is The New Women’s Movement, author Natalie MacNeal said, “Women are leaving the workforce in droves in favor of being at home. Not to be a homemaker, but as job-making entrepreneurs.”

How to Start an Online Business
A laptop, a big dream and lots of hustle

Women have been starting businesses at a higher rate than men for the last 20 years and tend to create home-based micro (less than 5 employees) and small businesses.

Women will create over half of the 9.72 million new small business jobs expected to be created by 2018 and more and more are doing this from home offices across the country. It’s a surprising statistic, especially considering that women-owned businesses only created 16 percent of total U.S. jobs that existed in 2010.

It’s the data released this week though by the National Federation of Independent Business about how women entrepreneurs fared during the recession that really cements that this is a revolution with staying power.

As always, if you liked this article, please share it.  I always love to hear your comments and feedback too.

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WANT TO HELP A WOMAN START HER OWN BUSINESS?

Kiva.org totally rocks.  Helping one woman start a business causes a ripple effect.  She will help other women and her own children to get an education and move out of poverty.

When you give to Kiva.org, your money will be paid back and you continuously give the money again and again as it comes back into your account.

Years ago, I founded a group called Women Heal The World to raise funds for women to start businesses.  As of today, we have funded 102 women to start their businesses by loaning them $2,650!

I have personally helped 53 women to start their businesses and loaned them $1,650.