I believe women make better entrepreneurs than men.
Supported by data? Not that I have access to.
So why am I saying it?
I believe that being a successful entrepreneur is about listening to your customers and serving their needs. Women are generally better listeners and more caring than men. Therefore, that makes women better entrepreneurs.
So what’s going on? Why are only 1/3 of entrepreneurs women?
This very question was posted on Forbes.com. The bulk of the answers boil down to socialization. And it’s true, women are socialized differently to men. Men are socialized to be:
- more aggressive;
- less vulnerable; and
- less risk averse.
Here’s the thing: while being more aggressive, less risk averse and less vulnerable might make you more likely to start a business, I don’t think any of those traits make you a good entrepreneur.
Let’s take them one at a time….
More Agressive: Kill or be killed is no way to run an early-stage start up. Creating alliances, partnerships is critical to all business, especially those with less resources to do it all in-house. Focusing your limited energies on destroying competition is a mistake. It’s far more productive to focus on loving your customers.
Less Vulnerable: Vulnerability is necessary in order to make a connection with others. Those others are your team, your partners (critical as above), investors and most importantly your customers. If you’re not willing to be vulnerable then you end up separating yourself from the people you need most to make your business successful. Don’t believe me? Here’s the science: Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability on TED.
Less Risk Averse: Fearless people make stupid mistakes. Being an entrepreneur is NOT about being fearless. Courageous, being afraid and doing it anyway, yes. Tenacious, getting knocked down and getting back up again, yes. Realistic, knowing that you’re going to be afraid and make mistakes and being ready for that, yes. Not taking into account potential risks can spell disaster for an early-stage company where cash is king and the end of the cash runway probably means shutdown.
What do you think? Why aren’t there more women entrepreneurs?
You can check out Forbes.com readers’ answers on why there aren’t more women entrepreneurs here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/actiontrumpseverything/2013/04/06/why-arent-there-more-women-entrepreneurs-i-asked-heres-what-forbes-readers-answered/.