In recent years, the number of successful women entrepreneurs has risen dramatically. This level of success serves as an inspiration for any woman to chase her dreams of starting a business and pursuing her passion.
For entrepreneurs just starting out, and especially for women, it can feel lonely. It’s challenging to find resources and encouragement, and to find good sources for inspiration and advice. Securing funding can be difficult as well.
Here are several resources for women entrepreneurs to find inspiration, tips and financial options.
One way to learn about the road to success and find inspiration is to research other women who have succeeded in starting successful companies. You can find lists of successful women entrepreneurs and use that as a starting place for learning more about women you find inspirational.
You may be able to find some published biographies, and sometimes Wikipedia pages can be informative as well. You don’t necessarily have to choose women who work in a field similar to yours as you can learn about business and startups regardless of the industry.
It can be helpful to read about successful business women from several different eras, such as Sophia Amoruso and Oprah. Of course, modern success stories will have information more relevant to the current business climate, but there is great encouragement and inspiration to be found in reading about women who defied societal norms to follow their passions.
Reading historical biographies can also help you see things from a different perspective, which is always good for the creative process.
Another great resource is an online community. There are online groups and forums for every subject under the sun, including those dedicated to entrepreneurship in general and even women entrepreneurs specifically.
Online communities offer many different benefits to women, from blog posts and inspirational stories to forums where women can hash out ideas, get and give advice and generally discuss what it’s like to be a woman entrepreneur. There are even informal online groups such as those created through social media platforms to allow businesswomen to meet, chat and exchange ideas.
Some communities focus on marketing campaigns designed to bring attention to women entrepreneurs. Other online communities are dedicated to storing and disseminating helpful information, such as how to file a patent. Women can also learn about franchise opportunities and read success stories of how other women found success in the business world.
There are even communities dedicated to non-profit work and social change issues to help women in developing countries learn how to earn money and even start businesses. Some sites are particularly dedicated to entrepreneurs who are moms and offer advice and stories about balancing two important life roles.
When you are starting a business, funding is vital. Most people don’t have enough capital on their own to cover all the expenses incurred in starting a business. One popular option is to use a crowdfunding site such as Kickstarter to raise capital.
The advantage of a crowdfunding campaign, aside from a virtually limitless pool of potential financiers, is the opportunity to build an audience and customer base even before your product is on the market. While crowdfunding isn’t gender-specific, it does offer the chance for anyone with an idea to gain an audience in a relatively even playing field.
Professional organizations are another great place to find inspiration, advice and even funding. Many organizations are dedicated to encouraging and supporting women entrepreneurs with mentorship programs, professional events and meetups.
Some organizations like NAWBO offer grants to deserving women, so it can be very beneficial to join a couple organizations. Additionally, some national groups have local chapters that hold physical meetings, so you could have the chance to meet with businesswomen who have experience with the business climate in your area.
While meeting with successful women in person is excellent, it isn’t always possible. Another way to learn and find inspiration is by reading blogs of successful business women. Learning from women who have succeeded in the business world, especially those that have worked at the executive level in traditionally male-dominated fields can help you be more prepared in your own business journey.
The Neela Seenandan Blog is an excellent example. Ms. Seenandan has years of professional experience as a human resources senior executive and her blog is full of wisdom about leadership and human resources. Another example would be Debra Chen’s Vanity + Trade – a business online publication features business, career and fashion tips for women.
It’s important to remember that good resources don’t necessarily have to be gender-specific. Women entrepreneurs can learn much from magazines and online sources such as Forbes, Entrepreneur and other business and finance-related publications. The website Entrepreneur even has an area specifically dedicated to women, but there is plenty of sound business advice to be had at many gender-neutral business sites and publications.
Then there are gender-specific business magazines like
Starting a business from the ground up can be challenging for anyone, and women face particular challenges. However, there are more encouraging stories every day and women entrepreneurs are even more successful than their male counterparts in some cases.
There are many resources that can help you when you are starting your business, from reading about successful women to joining online communities and professional organizations.