When celebrating the heroes of technology and IT, men like Bill Gates and the Steve Jobs get the lion’s share of the glory. However, every computing technology innovation–whether programming code, transistors, personal computers or the internet–has been built by groups of people (usually by borrowing from past ideas).
Like most things in life, it “takes a village” to succeed as a startup. Entrepreneurs are constantly breaking rules and making mistakes in an effort to drive their businesses forward. It’s common to be suddenly in situations where you “don’t know what you don’t know.” Yet you still have to stay in motion and make quick decisions.
The smaller your company, the faster you need to move, often without enough information to make the best choices. Without a savvy mentor as a guide, you may end up making crucial early mistakes that would have otherwise been avoidable.
For more than two decades, women have been starting businesses at a rate faster than men. The Center for Women’s Business Research reports than upwards of 20 percent of all U.S.-based businesses earning at least $1 million annually are owned and operated by women. It goes without saying that women today have incredible opportunities to blaze their own trail in life – Here’s to the women changing the world.
Running your own business has some appealing draws. It provides freedom and flexibility that you don’t normally get working for a corporate employer and allows you to make the best of your skills, experience and work ethic, all while doing something you love. According to a 2013 study by Cox, 61 percent of women entrepreneurs started a business to be their own boss, and more than 50 percent became entrepreneurs to have greater control over their future. More encouraging is the stat that nearly 92 percent of women business owners would do it all over again if given the choice, and would encourage more women to join them.
In 2015 female entrepreneurs in the United States ran upwards of 30 percent of the small businesses. Despite their impressive role in the economy, women-owned firms received a disproportionate percentage of venture capital investment money. According to a recent report from Female Founders Fund, of the 200+ Bay Area startups that received series A funding in 2015 of between $3 – $5 million, a mere 8 percent were lead by women. This percentage wasn’t much better in other states nationwide. Women-led firms in New York received a paltry 13 percent.