An increasing number of women are deciding to become full-time entrepreneurs. This is good news, considering the fact that the business world continues to be dominated by males. What’s more, recent studies show that female entrepreneurship comes with immense profit potential.
The unfortunate reality, though, is that in the number of startup companies, there’s still a huge gender disparity. The figures vary across different industries, but it’s clear that the realm of business is largely led by men. If you think about it, it’s easy to enumerate names of successful male entrepreneurs off the top of your head. Do the same for female entrepreneurs, however, and you’ll likely end up with a far shorter list.
Nevertheless, the statistics about women entrepreneurs are encouraging. Reports show that in 2014, women only account for 15 percent of the total number of entrepreneurs seeking angel investment. This year, however, the estimate is 23 percent. The National Association of Women Business Owners reports that women now own 9.4 million firms in the country which generate approximately $1.5 billion in sales.
IMAGE: KUMARI FULBRIGHT
Angel Investment & Female Entrepreneurship
The rise in the number of women seeking angel investment, though, is accompanied by the sustained difficulty to secure venture capital. The number of female investors is measurably smaller than the number of male investors. This creates a roadblock for aspiring female entrepreneurs, as they do not have adequate support from other women.
Basically, the slow growth in the number of female entrepreneurs can be attributed to three reasons:
1. Male-dominated corporate setting. Whether you like it or not, the fact is that entrepreneurship is still dominated by males. Research shows that 94 percent of all decision makers at venture capital firms are men. Clearly, this leads to a gender bias, prompting male investors to put their money into male-owned startups.
2. Lack of support. Many female entrepreneurs also cite lack of support as a big reason why many continue to struggle to launch a business. Female founders simply do not have the kind of support from mentors and advisors that their male counterparts have. Although male mentorship may be readily available, it may not be suitable for their business venture.
3. Business-family balance. Everyone seems to prioritize finding the right balance between business and family, yet women often find themselves at a disadvantage in this regard. It’s common to hear “mompreneurs” encourage other women to pursue their passion even with a growing family. But this feat is easier said than done.
So what exactly can women do to overcome these barriers and turn themselves into a successful entrepreneur? Kumari Fulbright, the founder of the Freedom Initiative Project, says that it all boils down to leveraging the right resources.
Kumari explains that plenty of resources are already in place, including ones that cater specifically to the needs of aspiring women entrepreneurs. These educational materials offer powerful knowledge to help women equip themselves with the right information on how to build their business from the ground up.
She goes on to say that building a personal network is key to being a successful entrepreneur. With more people to tap for help, you can receive exactly the kind of support you need to achieve your goals. It’s also important to look into alternative strategies for raising capital. Without any luck in angel investments, women can use crowdfunding and micro-loans to gather enough money to build their startup.
Kumari understands, however, that some women do not have access to these resources, which is exactly why she created the Freedom Initiative Project. This not-for-profit organization is born out of the idea of assisting women to lead better lives, regardless of the troubling situation they’re currently in.
Women experiencing transition and dislocation may not be in the right frame of mind to pursue a huge undertaking such as starting a business. In many cases, women have an excellent business idea but they do not know where and how to start building their business. It is Kumari’s passion to help these women achieve their dreams while rising above their ordeals at the same time.
With a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, a Master’s in Business Administration, and has completed courses in law, Kumari is as equipped as anyone in providing professional advice to female entrepreneurs. Her organization is focused on providing training materials to help educate women on how to receive enough capital for their business. In addition, they also offer support programs to make sure that their members have completely moved on from their past in order to focus on their entrepreneurial career.
The Freedom Initiative Project also assists women in finding the appropriate housing solutions, particularly those who have been recently released from incarceration. They also train these women and prepare them for re-entering the workforce, which is often one of the first steps for those seeking to become an entrepreneur in the future.
Kumari believes that any woman can become a successful entrepreneur. The key lies in getting access to the right resources and receiving ample support from fellow women. By serving as the voice of aspiring female entrepreneurs, Kumari knows that she can make a difference in the lives of many, compelling them to take little steps until they fulfill their dream of launching their own business.
Her bubbly personality makes her the kind of person anyone can easily relate to. This has proven beneficial in her mentorship programs, making the members of her organization feel comfortable to ask questions whether it’s about starting a business or dealing with a difficult time in life. Her genuine character resonates in her social media posts. She connects with members and followers via Facebook and Twitter, keeping them updated about her latest campaigns.
Kumari Fulbright is also hands-on at the Freedom Initiative Project. She organizes their awareness campaigns and speaks on various events. As someone that’s admired by countless women, Kumari continues to impress with her charitable acts and unwavering support for fellow women, regardless of the kind of problems they’re struggling with. To find out more about the mission of the Freedom Initiative Project and their upcoming activities, head over to their official website freedominitiativeproject.org.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels then we have a lot to choose from.