Authored by Melissa Haddad on March 1 2021
I am a woman entrepreneur. I have a corporate career of over 20 years in various administrative positions. I started working with only women entrepreneurs because I was a Mom who needed the flexibility to be a Mom and I knew other Mom’s knew the struggle. Having just recently celebrated my 6th Anniversary of being in business, I have a clientele of 50/50 women and men.
When I was in the corporate world, I realized the senior level positions were 5:1 ratio in favour of men. The women that I knew in the senior level positions worked long hours and tended to have Nannies. The majority of women in the companies were in the administrative roles, which I will admit, gave me what I needed to start my own business and become a successful entrepreneur.
In celebration of International Women’s Day happening this month, I’d like to celebrate women entrepreneurs and provide you with a few statistics that will shed some light on where things need to improve.
- Women account for over 37 percent of self-employed Canadians or 1,050,000 (2019)
- Women are less likely to seek and receive financing than men (32.6 % vs. 38 %) and firms owned by men are more likely to receive venture capital or angel funding and other forms of leverage such as trade credit or capital leasing.
- Women entrepreneurs do not make as much money as male entrepreneurs although the gap appears to be closing. Canadian women who start businesses make 58% less than their male counterparts.
- A flexible work schedule is a greater motivator for women planning to open their own business (63%) than for men planning to do so (51%)
- 36 percent of men planning to open a business plan to do so to become wealthy, while only 23 percent of women planning to open a business do so for the same reason
When I started my business I had determined that “failure was not an option” and it still isn’t, however failure is growth and although I have a successful business I also have made mistakes. Those mistakes have allowed me to grow and hone my business to where it is today and where I want it to be tomorrow.
I am happy and extremely grateful to be a woman entrepreneur. I celebrate being a female as well as I celebrate the support of my husband. I have both a daughter and a son and I want them to have the same opportunities. Although my son is only 10 years old I have explained to him that he will carry the weight of being a man and all I want him to do is listen and do his best to understand that is not personal against him. I will continue to educate him on how to be a caring man and to help his sister and other women he encounters create a world of opportunities without gender bias. I teach my daughter to go for anything she wants to do, even if she doesn’t get it, she will never live with the regret of, “I should have tried.”