We're republishing this article by Denise Cornick of NLOWE to raise awareness about the work NLOWE continues to do as we all work together to #flattenthecurve. It was first published in 2019 on the Guide to the Good pilot.
Is this the time when you have the time to explore your business idea or growth strategy? These women can help. Also virtual coffee breaks are now a thing!
When asking women entrepreneurs why they chose to become self-employed, the most frequently heard response is the desire to achieve a more favorable work-life balance. Women business owners say that having the ability to make their own work hours is far more valuable than potentially earning a higher salary working as an employee. Others state that they pursued entrepreneurship to follow their passion and to be their own boss.
Once in business, women are more likely to reach out and use their networks as a source of support. I can think of no better example of this than NLOWE’s Mastermind Groups. NLOWE regularly facilitates small group meetings of non-competing women business owners. During these meetings, members participate in peer-advising, where they help troubleshoot each other’s business challenges, share new ideas and sometimes simply provide an understanding ear. I have personally witnessed these women swoop in to help a fellow member in need, freely offering whatever knowledge and assistance they can from their various areas of expertise. The value of peer mentoring and leveraging your network cannot be overstated.
Financially, women are more risk-averse and frequently operate in industries where it can be difficult to secure funding/financing (ex. retail, food service, health services, etc.). Consequently, they are forced to innovate and grow by doing more with less. This can be seen locally by women-owned companies becoming more efficient through the use of technology, by refining their marketing strategies, and by leveraging their networks and community supports. There are ways to grow without taking on debt.
Women entrepreneurs have unique management styles. Where men generally take a more task-based approach to running a business, women’s approach tends to be relationship-based. This is especially important to note in Newfoundland and Labrador, where a tremendous number of sales are generated through word-of-mouth referrals. We do business with those we know and like, making relationship-building a crucial element of business growth. This is an area where women entrepreneurs can excel! In addition to helping bolster sales, listening to and fostering a relationship with your staff creates an environment where employees feel free to share ideas, creating a path to innovation.
The face of small business in Newfoundland and Labrador is changing. More women-owned companies are being seen across the province, bringing with them their unique management styles. From crafters, to consultants, to CEO’s of technology companies, these women are making their mark in NL, and helping our economy grow stronger into the future.
NLOWE provides advice, support, and networking for women entrepreneurs in Newfoundland and Labrador. Now from a distance! Visit https://www.nlowe.org/ for more.
As a business growth advisor with NLOWE, Denise works one-on-one with female entrepreneurs in the Avalon region to help advance their companies. Denise holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and a diploma in Supply Chain and Logistics.
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