Looking back over my history in the workforce, from the time I was a teen to my years as a classroom teacher, and on through my first couple of years in my writing career, I’ve only now realized that every single one of my bosses was male. Even at the first two publications I worked at, men oversaw my work and steered the course of the sites and magazines.
It was not until I began freelancing, that I worked for a woman. And now as the editor at Women’s Post, I work for the first ever female boss in my personal history since my first days in the working world, so many years ago, and now honestly feel that my voice is heard and ideas are respected and appreciated.
Despite my own history, women-led businesses are becoming more and more prevalent and new reports indicate that new businesses are experiencing greater success than those led by men, when it comes to finding alternative means to gain capital.
Although women-led businesses still often struggle to access capital from a financial institution, to kickstart the business, women have demonstrated that they have a greater success rate finding and using new funding options, like crowdsourcing. Research based on studies by the National Women’s Business Council shows that this has to do with women’s use of social networks and willingness to be more open and personal when telling their stories on crowdsourcing sites such as Kiva and Kickstarter.
Success on Kiva relies heavily on entrepreneurs openly sharing their personal story and offering up as many details as possible to encourage investors to fund a business. Females have proven to be more able to gain funding due to willingness to be honest and open. Additionally, females statistically set more realistic goals on the said crowdsourcing sites, reports indicate.
Many women have smaller social networks than men, yet closer ties to individuals in that network, which means that those in the network are more willing to share info on their own social media networks. Sharing crowdsourcing links so friends, family and acquaintances can get involved in supporting an endeavor, is key, and research indicates that women’s close networks assist with this.
Unfortunately, female entrepreneurs are still seen as “less credible” and “less legitimate” according to statistics from the National Women’s Business Council. Female investors are even more prone to select to work with male business owners over women. Yet there are millions of women-led businesses across North America, that , when combined, generate a revenue of over a $1 trillion, which means that the success rate of female entrepreneurs is on the rise.
The NWBC has determined that women entrepreneurs using Kickstarter were, on average, 9% more successful than men. Women account for 31% of users on the crowdsourcing platform, as well. Mentoring is also something that females are statistically more willing to seek and offer, which has proven to increase success rates at female-led businesses and promote a happier workplace.
What are your thoughts regarding the struggle women have to gain capital from financial institutions.? Share your thoughts and stories below.