The Three Obstacles Keeping Female Founders From Taking Their Business To The Next Level

The Three Obstacles Keeping Female Founders From Taking Their Business To The Next Level
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All entrepreneurs need a good dose of grit, confidence, and business acumen to take their ventures off the ground. While many of them deal with the same blockages, female entrepreneurs have their own set of obstacles. The three main issues keeping women from scaling their ventures and achieving sustainable growth are a lack of funding, a fear of failure, and limited mentorship opportunities.

Despite their talent and novel ideas, women are out of place in the business world. Since they’re not men, they’ve got much more to prove to reach their goals. In the UK, only 2% of venture capital funding went to all-female teams compared to male counterparts that secured 93%. The barriers keeping women from becoming successful entrepreneurs are high. Almost 40% of countries worldwide still have restrictions on female property ownership. However, these inequities shouldn’t, and often don’t, inhibit female entrepreneurs from chasing their dreams. 

Courtney Wright, a serial entrepreneur, speaker, and mentor, says simple changes can make real differences despite ongoing barriers. After working for a prominent entrepreneur in the 90s post-college, Courtney was motivated to open her own company, which led to many lessons and achievements she is grateful for. 

Now, Courtney is the CEO of Gemini Builds It and Showcase Acrylics, a framing and custom display organization. She also operates Lady Boss, a company striving to provide networking opportunities and mentorship to female founders. Since opening the company in 2015, Courtney has released a book, LadyBoss Blueprint: Reframing Your Business to Create the Life of Your Dreams, and started a podcast

Courtney has struggled to overcome barriers that block women from excelling at entrepreneurship. However, she has highlighted accessible ways women can scale their businesses.

One of the biggest challenges to entrepreneurship isn’t physical. Our mindset rules what we create and if you want to be an entrepreneur, you have to align those thoughts with your desired goals. Everyone experiences self-doubt, but women are particularly vulnerable to this problem. When you’re outnumbered and underestimated, it can be easy to feel inferior to your competitors. Preventing self-doubt, the fear of failure, and a limiting mindset is a long process. Courtney suggests reframing your focus to understand the value you receive from failure. She likes to see her mistakes as an educational lesson. If Courtney didn’t fail, she might’ve repeated the same mistake in the future. However, she takes the information she’s learned and keeps it in mind when moving forward.

Once women have built their confidence, finding mentorship opportunities and being accountable is crucial. Speaking with someone that already learned the hard way is a proven way to widen your perspective and build knowledge. Although not everyone has a mentor figure they’re close with, technology enables us to find innovative ways to reach our goals. Courtney suggests ‘micro-meetings’ or discussions of less than 15 minutes where female founders can hone in on what they want to learn from another person. Reaching out on social networking sites and building a rapport can often give you a chance to speak with someone, and in the worst case, you might have to invest financially. 

By leveraging your existing social circles, you can receive free feedback on your business pitch. Additionally, like-minded groups and colleagues can serve as accountability partners that cement positive behaviors. If you promise to attend a networking event or move forward with an idea, those people will encourage you to take action if you keep them involved. 

The last step toward scaling your business involves securing funding and streamlining your cash flow. The funding gap will not be closed overnight so Courtney believes in taking alternative routes to finding money for investing in your business. She suggests entrepreneurs should utilize customers to finance their business through deposits, amend accounts receivable terms, and make inventory management more efficient. These changes enable female founders to square away funds for company development more easily, accelerating scaling efforts.

Taking inspiration from Courtney’s advice has brought success to hundreds of female entrepreneurs. Through her podcast and Lady Boss organization, Courtney often hears how she is helping people on their journey. These stories drive Courtney to help women thrive in business and life. She hopes to inspire all women to put more faith in their ability to become entrepreneurs.

“When I chose to become an entrepreneur, I learned that the fear of regret was so much stronger than the fear of failure,” says Courtney. “I was haunted with the feeling of ‘what if’ and I know that many other women feel the same. Since I became successful, I constantly want to tell other women what they can do to bring their dreams to life. I’m so passionate about sharing resources and information with smart, talented, and driven women because I’m reminded every day that I’m helping so many of them. I see this work as charity and it’s my lifelong mission to do as much of it as possible.”

(Ambassador)

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