What characterizes a fantastic entrepreneur? Most people assume entrepreneurs were born that way. They think of entrepreneurs as risk-loving, money-motivated, and outgoing.
Research from the past two decades is challenging those ideas. While entrepreneurship is still a field dominated by men, women embody more traits that make them outstanding business owners.
The Number of Female Entrepreneurs is Growing
Few people realize that forty percent of U.S. small businesses are women-owned. Since the 1990s, the percent of female entrepreneurs rose by 114. In recent years, women launch more than 1800 new businesses daily, and women of color start 64 percent of these.
Naturally, gender is a continuum. Some women are masculine, and some men exhibit the attributes listed below. Keeping that in mind, here are several reasons women are outstanding business owners, according to science.
Emotional Intelligence is a Key Leadership Skill
Entitlement and self-indulgence in leadership are bad for business. A rude and ruthless boss creates a toxic atmosphere. A leader with a high level of emotional intelligence creates a company culture of collaboration, support, and healthy risk-taking.
According to a study published by the Harvard Business Review, female leaders are better at building business relationships and developing others’ potential. They rated better on all levels of business success, including problem-solving.
Women leaders showed more:
- Emotional self-regulation
- Motivation (a passion for work beyond money and status)
- Relationship building and managing skills
Women Cultivate Connections
A more robust support network gives entrepreneurs access to insight and resources at every stage of the venture. The right connections can mean fewer hard-learned lessons. Entrepreneurs gain the benefit of other people’s experiences and avoid common mistakes.
A study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found more women in a group increase the collective intelligence beyond the cognitive abilities of the individuals involved. Teams that collaborate well more effectively solve problems.
Passion is Good for Business
Successful entrepreneurs build a business around what they love to do, and women are likely to start businesses that are close to their hearts.
Passion for their business does more than getting an entrepreneur out of bed and into action day after day. Studies show that excitement about the company acts as an emotional contagion. Employees get caught up in the owner’s enthusiasm, which improves both commitment and work performance.
Cool-power leadership is the ability to influence a wide range of groups, even without direct authority. It emphasizes a holistic approach heavy on personal interaction rather than traditional jurisdiction.
Rather than focus on short term gains, cool-power leaders think several steps ahead. They are willing to make temporary sacrifices for long-term benefits. A 2019 study shows women outscored men in 17 out of 19 leadership skills.
Women tend to be better listeners who lead by example. They create an atmosphere that brings out the best in their team.
Women Multitask like a Pro
Multitasking is a tonic for the brain. Just as our muscles need exercise to stay strong, our brain needs activity to stay healthy. The more a person multitasks, the more skilled at it, and the more efficient they become.
Most women have a lot to balance in life. Between family, work, relationships, and the duties of life, women become skilled with time management and delegation. Both are substantial advantages for entrepreneurs.
Women Underestimate Themselves
When researchers compared how men and women were rated in the workplace, they found an interesting distinction. They compared men and women on:
- How they rated themselves in the workplace
- How managers, direct reports, and peers rated them
- How each leader predicted others would assess them
Male leaders were consistently better at predicting how managers, direct reports, and peers would rate them, while female leaders underestimated how others viewed them.
If you’ve underestimated yourself, perhaps it’s time to heed the research. Follow your passion and join the increasing number of female entrepreneurs.
Women Make Great Leaders
Whether it is to take control of their schedule, follow their passion, or compensate for limited employment options, more and more women worldwide are launching successful businesses.
What is good for women is good for the world. Humanity, the environment, and businesses have been colliding. For a sustainable future, we all need to operate with greater consideration. Women, on average, seem to understand this better.
In an era when customers seek authentic brands with a social conscience, where connecting and engaging are highly desired, women have a distinct advantage over men.