Canmore, Canada, May 11, 2012 --(PR.com
)-- With the passing of Apple’s Steve Jobs, we have been reminded of the great entrepreneurs of the 20th century: Ted Turner, Bill Gates and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. But where are the women on this list?
A study of women entrepreneurs released last December by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) found an estimated 187 million women starting and running businesses in 59 world economies. The men however, outnumbered the women in all except one (Ghana).
Canada reflects a similar trend. Only 16 per cent of all small and medium-sized businesses are majority-female-owned, according to the latest data from Industry Canada with the average annual revenue roughly half that of majority-male-owned businesses.
Women themselves are the problem according to the GEM study. Similar to men, women are just as likely to see entrepreneurship as attractive, but believe there are fewer opportunities for starting businesses in their area.
Additionally, women’s attitudes on failure come into play. They are more likely dissuaded from entrepreneurship due to fear of failure and they are less likely than men to display intentions for starting businesses.
Mandie Crawford, President of Roaring Women Ltd., who launched her business support organization in 2004 for women, agrees in part.
"Women approach business launching and building differently than men - and ultimately it hampers their ability to succeed or sustain growth," says Crawford. "Women are the glue that hold much of society together; the caretakers, the volunteers, the chauffeurs for the family. They often have part or full time positions in addition to trying to launch their business around their life. Add to this their adversity to risk and their determination to do it all alone and that spells disaster."
Women responding to a recent Canadian survey back this up, citing lack of time and funds as the main issues they face on a daily basis. Women claim they are short of time and money to the degree that their focus on business development is hindered. Other responses like lack of customers and need for marketing all stem from their cultural need to do everything themselves.
"Their fierce independence combined with minimal funding, time constraints and lack of focus is what eventually erodes their ability to succeed," maintains Crawford who has coached or interviewed over a thousand women in the last eight years. "What they really need is mentorship, training and a better understanding of how to balance their lives. If they want to have a business that succeeds, they need to invest time and money with focus. Roaring Women is the leading business support organization for women with more resources than any other for free.”