Women make up nearly half the world’s population, and yet only a little more than one-third of Australian businesses are owned by women. That might seem low, unless you compare that percentage to those of most other countries, where less than 30% of small businesses are being led (not necessarily owned) by women.
I could go into lots of data that attempts to explain Why that is. However, I think the bigger issue is How:
In her 2018 article in Financial Review, Georgina Dent cites a need for the commercial representation of women’s problems, and the willingness of Australia’s female entrepreneurship to step up and augment markets that have been traditionally underserved by men.
This makes a lot of sense. Just think about the number of problems that any given woman solves on any given day. And in most instances, these problems are not unique to her situation. Other mothers, sisters, daughters, friends, employees and business owners are experiencing these same female-centric problems…and they’re not being talked about in commercial markets that are largely represented by men.
Traditionally, groups of women have been forced to share and solve problems while sequestered from commercial markets—at luncheons, teas, their children’s play dates…without the marketplace attention that male and gender-neutral problems traditionally benefit from. Or worse, they have felt entirely alone, thinking no one else shared their struggle.
Some pioneer female entrepreneurs have discovered that when they shed commercial light on female-specific problems, the results are not only transformative for everyone involved, they can be surprisingly lucrative.
One example that Dent uses in her article, The Rise of Female-Led Businesses, is Jodie Fox, founder of Shoes of Prey. Jodie illuminated a common problem that women experience—a problem that most women had assumed they could do nothing about.
She, like most women, had an affinity for shoes, but never immersed herself in it because she had not experienced complete satisfaction with any one pair of shoes. The heel wasn’t quite right, or the colour was just a shade off. Maybe the embellishments weren’t exactly what she was looking for, or the really beautiful ones pinched her toes.
And so, she commissioned someone to make shoes just for her. It changed the way she bought and wore shoes. Soon, her friends showed great interest in her custom shoe designs, and she started creating shoes for them, too.
That’s a great example of an enterprising woman solving a problem that only women have…and that, until now, has not been addressed because there didn’t seem to be an avenue or a market for it.
This is an example of a problem that only a woman is perfectly equipped to solve, bringing with it a distinct advantage for a female entrepreneur.
There’s something else that we can’t overlook.
And most female entrepreneurs agree: they are successful not only because of their unique business idea, but because of their business connections.
Here’s why having a supportive business network is so valuable for female business owners:
Women are supportive
Women are competitive, for sure; however, they are also more apt to support one another. This means they’re more likely to forge mutually beneficial business relationships, in which a number of women involved all win. This is not only good for each individual woman, it’s great for female-led businesses in general.
Women are born to help
As you know, if you have useful information, it can be difficult to keep it to yourself. That’s our nature. We want to contribute, to enhance, to improve…the lives of others. This makes female business networks some of the most supportive and financially rewarding environments out there.
Women are willing to learn for a lifetime
In my coaching career, I have met very few women who think they’ve learnt everything there is to know about their industries. I have also met very few who weren’t willing to help colleagues to learn, too.
Women are community-minded
Bringing people together is a common goal, and that is evident in the efforts of female entrepreneurs to create win/win situations and to invite other motivated individuals into their networks.All kinds of markets are hungry for the unique perspectives that only women have, and female consumers, especially, are eager to be spoken for in markets where they’re currently being underrepresented. Click To Tweet
So, now we’ll turn to you: What problem have you experienced that you know you’re not alone in? What pain have you endured that male-owned businesses have tried to relieve, but have struggled because they don’t have firsthand experience with it?
Or, what have you seen your friends or loved ones struggle with? Problems that are begging for the empathetic problem-solving skills of a woman?
These are the types of questions that will maintain and expand upon the current boom in growth of women-led business, both in Australia and around the world. There are gaps in every market, that’s for sure. But who is filling those gaps? Often, the answer to that question will determine the success of the venture.
There is a powerful learning and networking platform for female entrepreneurs available to you, where incredibly talented, experienced female marketers and entrepreneurs are ready to support you in building your business. It’s the Fempire Academy, and I invite you to click here to learn about the benefits it holds for you.
Marnie LeFevre is the Founder of Fempire. She is also a #1 bestselling author and marketing expert who has made it her mission to support women to achieve the success they deserve and to lead with confidence. She believes women can achieve anything with the right support and a sisterhood to back them up.