World Wide Women: Women question their business abilities | Funding opportunities for female entrepreneurs | One woman instigates social change through her perfume business.
The Springboard Enterprises Accelerator is a program that connects female entrepreneurs to growth experts and venture capital networks. This year the program is being run in Australia, with eight start-ups participating in bootcamp for fundraising and development strategy skills. The Springboard Enterprises chairman, Kay Koplovitz, explains that the program was developed to lessen the exceptional challenges female entrepreneurs face. The exceptionally small percentage of women run venture-backed businesses exemplifies these challenges. By growing a network and sharing skills and knowledge, Springboard hopes to give women more parity in the business world. Read more about their work here.
How can a perfume business create peace? This was the question Barb Stegemann asked herself when developing her business plan for 7 Virtues Beauty Inc. The company sources essential oils from regions that need to be rebuilt post-conflict, encouraging the growth of legal crops in areas such as the Middle East. By purchasing essential oils from Afghanistan, for example, the company provides safe and profitable crop alternatives for farmers to the illegal poppy crops commonly grown and sold to be turned into illicit drugs. Thus, the impact is two fold, with the perfume crops providing legal sources of income for one community, and limiting the circulation of dangerous substances for another community. Check out her inspiring story here, and use it to help guide the ethics of your new business plan.
In 2012 there were an estimated 126 million women entrepreneurs running start-ups and 98 million female owners of established firms. Despite these awesome statistics, The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2012 Women’s Report shows that women are still less confident about their business skills than men. However, in Sub-Saharan Africa the stats are different, with 67% of women being confident of their ability to start and run a successful business. It appears that in developed countries women still believe that they will have more job stability and a better income in established corporations, despite the wide-spread impact the global financial crisis had on employment within such organisations. Read more about how we unnecessarily question our business aspirations here, and consider just how stable a standard office job really is in the long run.