Kim Kiyosaki

Why We Need More Women Entrepreneurs

The world is better served when women start more businesses

Do you recall the warning “Remember, only YOU can prevent forest fires” from Smokey the Bear? Well, I’d like to adapt it for women in 2018: “Ladies, remember only YOU can solve some of the world’s biggest problems.”

According to the census data from 2007, women owned only 28.7% of businesses. Fast forward a decade to The State of Women-Owned Businesses 2017, a report commissioned by American Express, and women-owned businesses now account for 39% of all U.S. firms. That increase is incredibly encouraging news for all of us, and should help you realize there are countless opportunities for that number to continue rising.

Now, given the fact that women make up 85% of all consumer purchases (homes, cars, vacations, healthcare, food, etc.) it’s interesting to think about the implications of the following statistics from she-economy:

  • 59% of women feel misunderstood by food marketers
  • 66% feel misunderstood by health care marketers
  • 74% feel misunderstood by automotive marketers
  • 84% feel misunderstood by investment marketers
  • 91% of women in one survey said that advertisers don’t understand them

Is this because men are doing most of the marketing? How could men possibly know what we want or need? Aren’t other women better equipped to tune into those details that are missing in marketing messages? Aren’t women more likely to invent things that will help other women? Seems to me like the world needs more female entrepreneurs.

The World Needs Women

As we know, women see the world differently than men. We are attuned to opportunities that men might not notice. That’s because women have unique “problems” that need solving, problems that often only other women are savvy enough to solve. Plus, women know how to market their businesses and products to other women in a way that makes sense.

For instance, a woman I know had an addiction to designer handbags. With every extra dollar she had, she ran out and bought the latest Louis Vuitton, Prada, or Gucci handbag. Her friends and family would often ask if they could borrow one of her purses, and she would gladly agree. These requests kept happening with more and more frequency. One day, the light bulb went off, and she asked herself: “What if I rented out my handbags for a fee?” And that’s exactly what she did, with resounding success. Today, she has a successful accessories rental business online (and off) through which she rents handbags, shoes, and jewelry.

Or take the story of Sara Blakely, who was frustrated by the fact that she couldn’t find an appropriate undergarment to wear under a pair of cream pants that she had bought for a party: “So, I decided to cut the feet out of control top pantyhose one day, and I threw them on under my white pants, and went to the party. I looked fabulous, I felt great, I had no panty lines, I looked thinner and smoother, but they rolled up my legs all night. And I remember thinking, ‘This should exist for women’. I’d never taken a business class, I’d never worked in fashion or retail. I’d actually been selling fax machines door-to-door for seven years, since graduating from college, and I had $5,000 in savings. I’d just moved out of my mom’s house, and I was dating a loser.” She founded, you guessed it, Spanx with that $5,000. Today, Forbes estimates Blakely is worth more than $1.1 billion.

You’re also probably familiar with the story of JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series. Rowling was on welfare and came up with the character while riding the train. She endured countless rejections before landing a publishing deal. In 2011, Forbes estimated Rowling to be worth about $1 billion. Talk about rags to riches!

These women are real people, who didn’t come from privileged backgrounds. They didn’t have advanced degrees, they didn’t have access to “the right circles” of people to network with, and they didn’t even have business experience. What they did have, however, was a dream of financial independence coupled with a brilliant idea they knew would fill a void in the marketplace. They also had the courage to believe in themselves when others did not, refusing to give up until they achieved their financial dreams. And their ideas helped millions of other women in the process.

Rise up!

These three stories, and many more like them, serve to show that there are tons of business opportunities out there for women just like you. The time is now for women entrepreneurs to rise up, look for a need and find the solution!

Today, spend some time analyzing the world around you. Listen to conversations with your girlfriends. Watch your social media feed. Look closely at your own life. Are there unique challenges in your life, as a woman, that you think haven’t been best solved yet? There’s no reason to settle for the status quo. Think up a better solution and get scrappy. You never know where that little idea can take you.

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