A look at rewards reaped by women small business owners

Michelle Di Gangi
Posted by Michelle Di Gangi
Small Business Banking

“Lean in” has become such a popular phrase in many parts of our culture, but it’s more than just jargon when it comes to women small business owners.

Woman small business owner talking in a meeting as she holds a pen.Many of these women don’t just lean in – they go all in and put everything they have into their businesses. That’s what 87% of the female respondents said in our annual Small Business Growth Survey. And even more encouraging news is that the same amount – 87% — said everything they’ve sacrificed has been worth it and the job is more rewarding than they could have imagined.

Both of these outcomes are worth celebrating as we recognize October as National Women’s Small Business Month.

Earlier this summer, I highlighted results this survey about overall benefits to small business ownership as well as tips owners would offer to newbies who are considering starting a business. Here, I want to focus on what we learned about women small business owners.

Challenges along the way

In some cases, women and men have different perceptions about owning a small business. According to the survey, women are more likely to credit help from financial partners as key to their success than men (26% vs. 15%, respectively). They are also less likely to than men to say self-confidence is an essential ingredient to their success (60% vs. 69%).

Women respondents identified multiple challenges on their paths to success. The top four hurdles they cited:

  • Living with uncertainty that comes with owning your own business (52%)
  • Always being on the job (45%)
  • Taking on multiple roles (42%)
  • Avoiding burnout (40%)

They also singled out these top three rewards:

  • I am my own boss (80%)
  • I have the flexibility to work when I want (63%)
  • I am in control of my own destiny (61%)
Leading by example

In recent years we’ve had the privilege of getting to know some terrifically inspiring women business owners in our “Customer Wise” series, and I love how some of their experiences align with what our survey discovered. I encourage you to read some of the conversations we’ve had with these women; their experiences may help you along your path!

For more on the survey results, see this infographic or the full report summary.

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