At White Water Women, we are spending a lot of time and energy working with women to help them reach leadership positions in the corporate world to ensure more balance, stable representation of diverse views. Then we got to thinking. Some women find that corporate life just does not allow them to accommodate other aspects of their lives whatever they do. Surely we should be considering how else we can help them. When women leave the corporate world they don’t disappear into cosy domesticity. They tend to keep working. Many set up their own businesses where they can define the terms and call the shots.
In the USA, women led firms are the fastest growing sector of new venture creation. This phenomenon is to be found in South America and China too where women’s economic empowerment is strong. The UK is lagging a bit behind at present. Women are still under represented in British business. So, what does it take to set up and run your own business?
- an ability to take considered risks
- confidence in your self
- good communication
- constantly expanding networks
What holds women back? – lack of access to finance, poor support networks, lack of educational/development opportunity and low self esteem. With this in mind we are building a suite of women’s programmes focused on supporting and developing women who want to set up and run their own businesses but could do with some fast track learning on the key things that matter – basic business skills and marketing as well as believing in and selling yourself and your ideas with confidence. Tell us what you think women need to learn in order to start and develop their own businesses. Start thinking about the business you would like to have. Watch this space for the autumn launch of the White Water Women entrepreneurial programme.