Women Entrepreneurs Want Flexibility

Woman_with_diary I often work with women who are either setting up their own businesses or being slowly seduced by the idea. These women are under no illusions about what is involved, they know they will probably work longer hours than they did in paid employment, but it is the total control over those hours which is so attractive to women. In a governmental effort to encourage women’s entrepreneurship, research consistently focuses on why and where women-owned businesses are lagging behind men’s – in the acquisition of venture capital, risk-taking attitudes and in fields, such as technology, where the initial capital layout can be prohibitive. These factors may be true – but focusing on what women business owners lack is to ignore what they actually have - flexibility and job satisfaction.

I am a key case in point. This morning I was blogging by 7am, then took a break to do some Pilates (glorified rolling around on my living room floor!), then came back to begin my working day in earnest. Later I will take a "power walk" with my husband, as we like to do, before finishing the day checking e-mail. Longer hours than my previous career? Sure? More happiness and a timetable that fits around me? Most definitely! I remember meeting a business woman who said she started her own company after her boss said it wasn’t "convenient" for her to leave to pick up her sick son from school – despite the fact that she would have taken extra work home and routinely worked into the evening. She quit the next day. And you have to wonder, how "convenient" was that for her employer?  It sounds like flexibility is key to American women’s businesses as well….

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  • Bianca Russo

    It’s so difficult for women to get their businesses up and running. Especially when you’ve got kids at home, and can’t drive downtown everyday! I know that feeling pretty well, haha.
    I’m an ambassador for Microsoft and right n0w we’re trying to reach out and connect with influential bloggers, like you, and try and offer some help to those women trying to get their business started! I’d love to share some information with you on how we can do that!
    We just wrapped up a women’s entrepreneurial tour across the US called “Vision To Venture;” the response and turn-out was great!
    I’d really love your take on these offerings we have right now; I would have contacted you via email but I didn’t know which was the best way to reach you.
    Thank you so much, I hope I didn’t overstep my bounds by directly contacting you. Get back to me if I’ve caught your interest– I’d love to share more info with you.
    Best,
    Bianca Russo
    Official Microsoft Ambassador
    bianca.russo@live.com