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In celebration of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

Women’s Entrepreneurship Day is celebrated on the 19th of November each year to honour and support female entrepreneurship around the world. With an almost equal ratio between men and women globally, it’s important to ensure that the marginalised gender has support for starting business endeavours. This will help bring it up to par with their male counterparts. Apart from the fact that women make up around half of the world’s population, it may also be interesting to note that approximately 85% of all purchases, and close to $20 trillion in global spending, is attributed to women. Despite these great statistics, women still earn only about 10% of the world’s income and this needs to change. This is one of the reasons why Women Entrepreneurship Day was founded.

A brief history

A brief overview of this special day is required to provide some background information about its historical significance. 

It all started with social entrepreneur and humanitarian Wendy Diamond, who volunteered with the Adelante Foundation, which provides microcredit to women in Honduras who are impoverished. 

Inspired by her work there, she started a movement to empower women and address poverty with the creation of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organisation (WEDO). It was established in 2013 as an NGO. One of its main purposes was to “bring light to the plight of 250 million girls living in poverty worldwide and deserve a chance.”

Just one year later, WEDO held its first Women’s Entrepreneurship Day in New York City at the UN. The initiative needs a strong support base to help women enjoy fair and equal opportunities in order to have a greater impact in their country, help with economic growth as well as be an inspiration to others. 

Some statistics for the number crunchers

According to the European Commission, “women entrepreneurs constitute 29% of entrepreneurs (11.6 million) in Europe.” What’s more is that women on the continent make up the majority of one-person enterprises at 78%. Overall, the main areas of work where women entrepreneurs can be found are in health and social work activities, services as well as education.  

But what about the UK?

UENI’s 2020 Report on Gender and Small Business reveals that as a percentage of the total number of business owners, women make up 32.37% while males are at 67.63%. This information is based on a sample size of over 22,000 SMEs.

With regard to company size, 37.70% of women worked alone as one person in their business. Meanwhile, 27.14% had one to two employees, while 23.44% had more than four employees. 

What about the various industry sectors? According to the same report, “women continue to make up the overwhelming majority of Hair & Beauty related companies, with women-led businesses making up 76.08% of the sector.” 

Following closely behind include the Gifts & Occasions, Consumables and Wellness sectors. Where there was a relative balance found between men and women was in the sectors of Clothing & Accessories and Grocery & Food. Finally, “women are noticeably underrepresented in the running of companies based in Electronic & Appliance, Construction Services and Outdoor & Garden.” 

Benefits of entrepreneurship

If you’re ready to join the world of women entrepreneurship and need a slight nudge in that direction, here are a few reasons to start a business:

  1. More independence: you get to decide the when, where, what, how and why.
  2. It enables you to follow your passions and dreams
  3. You can have more flexibility when it comes to choosing the location where you work
  4. You’ll be able to exercise greater control over what you earn
  5. You’ll be motivated and remain so
  6. You can control your schedule and way of life
  7. It takes just one decision to get started and you can start with almost nothing
  8. You’ll become an expert in your field
  9. You can broaden your creative skills, and
  10. It won’t feel like work at all! 

Some tips for starting a business

If you don’t want to dive in but get your toes wet first, that’s perfectly okay. You may, for example, seek the advice of a business mentor or coach. They usually have a wealth of experience behind them and can steer you in the right direction.

It’s also important to get together with like-minded individuals. This can be done by networking. 

As a third point, you may want to get an “accountability partner”. This is for those who need a little extra nudge when it comes to achieving their goals and need someone to help steer them in the right direction.

Next, you’ll want to find out more about what your local community is doing for small business owners. There may be municipal or business resources that you’re not aware of and could just be the gem that you’re looking for to offer you help with getting started – whether as a business loan, helping you draft your business plan or simply useful resources.

Think about the technical aspects, as well. For example, if you’re starting an online business, you’ll need to go over some marketing fundamentals, social media courses, get familiar with Google Analytics, design, and website development.

Here’s a small tip: Website development can be really overwhelming, so why not try a free ecommerce website builder, like myPOS Online?

Finally, it’s important to look after your needs and personal development. This may mean investing in some books to help you achieve your goals, or listening to podcasts, watching videos, or any other piece of content that will help motivate your team and you and help you feel good about yourself. 

Conclusion

Women’s Entrepreneurship Day is a day for celebrating our mothers, sisters, daughters, friends and so much more in the business world! Although they make up around half of the population, women’s economic contributions still have some way to go. While in the UK, the ratio of women to men entrepreneurs is around 1:3, there remains room for growth. If you’re ready to join the world of entrepreneurship, we encourage you to take a leap and pursue your goals! 

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