Monday, June 23, 2008

Women Entrepreneurs

Yesterday, the Connecticut section of the New York Times ran an article about Women Entrepreneurs in the our area. It focused on "Carla Schneider, 40, of Orange, whose product, the WubbaNub, a silicon pacifier with a small stuffed animal attached, has been used in neonatal intensive care units and by mothers of fussy babies around the country." And the article went on to say that "for many female entrepreneurs, necessity is the mother of their venture." I used to belong to the Women's Entrepreneurial Network, which had no end of striving women with their own businesses. It was true that many of the members who had seen real necessity in the marketplace had plenty of success, but a lot were just wannabes. The wannabes were thinking of starting businesses or were in overly crowded markets, where it was hard to make money.

The article points out that more women start businesses than men. But most woman-owned businesses make very little money. Nearly half of businesses owned by women make less than $10,000 in annual revenue.

In my business planning work, I've only had one woman client -- only one woman who realized the great value of a professional plan and was willing to pay for it. In my marketing communications work, again, I've only had one woman client. I've always wondered about that. Are women more conservative with their money? Or do they have lower ambitions and so don't want to spend money on their businesses? I'm a woman, and I've got to admit, I hesitate before spending money on professional advice or help. But I've also mixed my home life with my home-based business. I work out of a home office, which gives me a tremendous amount of freedom and keeps overhead low. I also realize that what I do for my family and home has economic value. Otherwise, I'd have to hire other people to do my "home work". Still, I love having my own business and generating and contributing my own revenue stream to the family. When paying college tuition, every penny helps.

In any event, the article about women entrepreneurs in our area is well worth reading. It really shows how exciting it is to build a business from an idea and how it is possible to be a business owner and a person with a home life. Here is a permanent link to the article.

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