Grocery Wars: The Ascent of Women Entrepreneurship
The women’s role in business has been a hot topic of conversation recently, and this focus will continue to be front and center in the coming year’s as women are increasingly being empowered as entrepreneurs or in senior positions. When I grew up it was customary for women to be stay-at-home moms. Though my Mom was a Pharmacist by trade, she gave up her career to take care of my brother and myself. Today, women are embracing their professional careers, with many becoming business entrepreneurs.
“Welcome to the Assent of Women Entrepreneurship!”
The title of the business entrepreneur has been a role that in the past has been dominated by the male. Now more than ever, women entrepreneurs are making their mark. This is supported by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor research that revealed, the Total Entrepreneurship Activity (TEA) of women in the 63 economies studied increased by 10% between the 2015 and 2016 reports, which closed the gender gap by 5%.[i]
Female entrepreneurship has been recognized as an important source of economic growth. They create new jobs for themselves and others and also provide society with different solutions to management, organization, and business problems. From the Center for International Enterprise to the Harvard Business Review, business experts have agreed the business world needs to support the development of women entrepreneurs. Research reveals that when women gain access to their financial freedom, they are lifted out of poverty, children begin to become healthier, and the overall economic status of the particular country improves.
This is not more evident than in Canada. Export Development Canada research reveals only 13.5% to 16% of small to medium-size enterprises are owned by women and only 7.5% of these business’ do business outside of Canada. [ii] In a research study undertaken by BMO, Government of Canada, Carleton University and the Beacon Agency, their research revealed:
- Many of the women entrepreneurs interviewed noted that they do not feel welcome or included in the focus of mainstream networks, incubators, and accelerators.
- They also feel there is an under representation of female mentors and potential investors, which hinders their ability to raise capital or attract the attention of policymakers for funding opportunities.
A study by Dell suggests the United States ranks number one in the world in terms of providing the world’s most favorable business climate for women entrepreneurs.
If Canada is to remain as a top economic leader, they must find a way to inspire more women to become entrepreneurs. Why you ask? In the US “with an economic impact of $3 trillion, women- owned businesses are credited with creating or maintaining 23 million jobs. When coupled with statistics showing that women-led companies perform twice as well as those led by men, one can begin to imagine the significant impact the continued increase of women-led businesses can have on domestic job creation and economic growth”.[iii] As a first step, The Canadian Federal Government recently announced they will invest around $2B in small and medium-size businesses that are women-owned or led.
Managing your own business brings rewards you will not encounter as an employee. The most difficult task is to take that first step and become an entrepreneur. As noted by Oprah Winfrey,
“Whatever you fear has no power – it is your fear that has the power”.
My business success can be accredited to two women entrepreneurs who have been with me since day one. For their support and friendship, I am truly grateful.
- Nikki Bult – Lead Strategist and Owner, NB Virtual Office, www.nbvirtualoffice.com
2. Chala Dincoy – President, The Repositioning Expert, www.repositioner.com