It is fascinating to see how men and women entrepreneurs scale their businesses so differently. Some may say that it comes naturally to men, and perhaps that is true.
Women still don’t have the same opportunities as men. Women have come a long way and made great strides in the workplace, but they still have self-limiting thoughts that obstruct their success.
If more and more women entrepreneurs would come forward and scale their businesses, it would lead to significant benefits for society at large. Even though more women are becoming entrepreneurs each year, they are still twice as less likely to scale their companies compared to men.
To bridge this gap, it is necessary to provide adequate mentorship and direction to aspiring women entrepreneurs. According to the U.S., Small Business Administration (SBA) mentoring is the missing link to any small business’ growth and survival. On that note, here are some reasons why mentoring is crucial.
Why is mentoring key for Women Entrepreneurs?
When it comes to women-owned businesses, mentoring equal guidance. This guidance can help them overcome the hardships they face in the market due to their gender. For instance, it is generally harder for women to access loans, and pay inequality is still a major issue. Therefore, mentorship can prevent women entrepreneurs from making business-related mistakes, and pave the way for their victory.
- Mentorship gives women entrepreneurs the support they need
No one can deny that entrepreneurship is a male-dominated field. Studies have shown that women pioneers in typically male-dominated fields tend to feel isolated. This affects their operative performance. In fact, in the tech industry, most capable women leave their jobs because of toxic masculine work culture.
Women who have mentors feel supported and encouraged to take big leaps. When you have a role model who has gone through what you are going through, it makes the journey easier. In that way, mentorship can also be seen as an isolation buster. Supporting each other in a competitive business environment is a smart long-term move that many women can benefit from.
- Mentorship allows women to look at problems from a fresh perspective
In any industry, it is common for employees to get burnt out when they are required to do things the same way. Having a business mentor can help you look at your problems from perspectives you hadn’t thought of before.
As a budding women entrepreneur, you may have difficulty looking at your business model from a new perspective. In these cases, a mentor who has probably dealt with the same challenges can offer you useful assistance. It always helps to have an outsider’s point of view.
- Mentorship expands the business network
What women entrepreneurs need to succeed in business is a community of diverse fellow peers. Women are more likely to have smaller professional networks compared to men. This can put them at a potential disadvantage.
If you have a well-connected mentor, you automatically have access to a large network of business professionals. This not only helps in expanding your personal network but provides opportunities for you to increase your business exposure. Through this network, you can meet prospective clients, investors, venture capitalists, and so on. You can get invited to top events and network with like-minded women.
- Mentorship shows women what is possible
As we said, due to the lack of opportunities, women are burdened with self-limiting thoughts. If you have ever felt like giving up, seeing someone you trust to achieve what you want can help you believe in yourself. The idea behind being a role model or mentor to someone is to show them what they are capable of. A mentor who has been there can show you what it is like and what you need to do to get there.
- Mentorship prevents women entrepreneurs from making costly mistakes
A good mentor will always help women entrepreneurs avoid making the same mistakes they perhaps did. According to a study by Harvard Business Review, 84 percent of CEOs said that a mentor prevented them from making errors that could have harmed their companies. Therefore, mentors are necessary if you want to get ahead in your career.
Also Read; Women Entrepreneurs In Tech
Famous Women Entrepreneurs
Now who to look up to for some inspiration to kick start your dream business? We bring to you 5 strong-headed women to motivate you.
1. Denise Coates
Denise Coates is one of the most famous women entrepreneurs to look up to. She is the founder of an England-based online gambling platform, Bet365.com. She started by purchasing a domain name and dedicated a year of her life to building the site. Later, she applied for a 15 million euros loan from the Royal Bank of Scotland to have the site up and running. Today, Bet365 is a major profitable online gambling platform, and Coates has accumulated a fortune of $2.5 billion.
2. Vandana Luthra
Vandana Luthra is the founder of VLCC, the founder of leading Indian beauty services. She started her company in 1989 as a simple beauty service center, but eventually expanded to include more services such as laser hair removal, grooming, and Dermat services. She was awarded the Padma Shree award in 2013. Luthra is also connected to the NGO Khushii that offers free scholarships to the physically disabled and underprivileged.
3. Sofia Vergara
You may know Sofia Vergara as a beauty icon and a popular sitcom star, but she’s more than that! Apart from working with many companies over the years, Sofia Vergara is a successful women entrepreneur and the co-founder of Latin World Entertainment. It is a talent management agency and a marketing firm. Her current net worth is estimated at $37 million.
4. Zhang Xin
Zhang Xin is the founder of SOHO China which is a real-estate firm. Her story is quite inspiring. She was a factory worker who graduated from Cambridge University. Later, she worked at Goldman Sachs and was inspired to launch her own company. She is known as “the woman who built Beijing”.
5. Oprah Winfrey
Last but not least, we have one of the most successful black women entrepreneurs, Oprah Winfrey! Oprah is not just a household name. She is a media mogul with her talk show, and also the co-founder of Oxygen Media. She has several business endeavors and her net worth is estimated at $2.6 billion.
Also Read: Reasons Why Women Entrepreneurship Should Be Encouraged