Jun 2015

Women in Business

Posted by / in B4Blessing News, Women in Business / No comments yet

Women doing business? Yes of course. Its always been that way in my family. All the women own businesses–5 generations of us have owned businesses. My grandmother owned a greenhouse, my mother several businesses. It seems so normal to us. My daughters and granddaughters own businesses. I was asked to speak on Women Entrepreneurs for a recent conference. I was a little surprised at what I learned about women owned business.

31% of US businesses are owned by women; that’s 7.7 million businesses generating 1.2 trillion dollars in revenue. Wow! quite an impact isn’t it? By 2018 the US government estimates that 1/3 of all new jobs will be created by women owned businesses. Forbes had a list of the 16 most powerful business women: 5 were from China, 1 from India, 2 Hispanic, 8 US/Europe.

My takeaway is that women entrepreneurs play a vital role in the world’s economy. However, when I looked at the finance side, it was a different story.

Gallup says that women entrepreneurs are much less likely to get business funding than men. In fact, the US Small Business Administration gives only 3.4% to women entrepreneurs. Silicon Valley Angel funding: 19% and venture capital for growth 6%. Woman have a difficult time getting funding to start a business or additional funding to grow a business.

Here we have this wonderful resource of bright, capable women, but a clear lack of funding.

B4B works with a number of women in business. We have one story in the companion blog for this newsletter. Some women work with their husband, some have their own business, but they all have ideas and energy to do business in biblical ways.

Recently we have held two Lion’s Dens (like Shark Tank) in Kazakhstan with 20 Kazakh business entrepreneurs presenting: 8 females, 12 males. We have trained about 80 people in B4B principles. These 20 had worked hard to develop credible business plans with clear financial projections. We wanted them to have an opportunity to present their business to the class as well as a couple of business people who could provide finance. The whole audience scored them on whether the Person was capable, the business looked Profitable and the quality of their Godly Purpose. But of course they need various kinds of support as we work through the Incubation process.

The most ambitious woman entrepreneur is a school administrator who wants to start a K-12 school designed to change how education is done. While she is very capable, she needs support and resources. Perhaps from one of you who is a school administrator or an architect. Do you know of a potential sister school? Funding? Of course.

Another is a woman with a small dairy farm to help her mom have an income. That business has started and is doing very well. We have women who are starting businesses to bring women out of prostitution–they are called Freedom Businesses. Others are sheep farms, speech therapy clinics, and even a young woman with an internet business. There are many different types of businesses in this portfolio.

Of course the men are also worthy of our support, but since this blog is about women, I’ll limit it to them — but feel free to ask me about the guys’ needs too. Our plan is to have the “Opportunities” tab on this website up soon so that you can read about each one.

I was in Albania a year ago and met a women who had an NGO called The Useful Woman. She helped women who were abused develop job skills and find jobs. I got intrigued by the term “The Useful Women.” I think we need a Sisterhood of The Useful Women. Women helping women. I’ve opened a B4B Forum for Women in Business. Lets talk about how we might help and support one another. And of course we would be happy to have the “Brothers” join as well.

I’ve written another post about the biblical models of women doing business:
1. Pricilla and Aquila: working together and then adding Paul as a partner
2. The Proverbs 31 woman: running her own business, while her husband does something else
3. Lydia: a single women running a high class business.

If this intrigues you, comment on this blog and join the Women in Business forum.



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