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CAN GIRLS REALLY GO GLOBAL? Featured
10 April 2018 Posted by 

CAN GIRLS REALLY GO GLOBAL?

Time has never been better
CYNTHIA DEARIN
THERE has never been a better time to go global; but can women really make it on the international stage?

Women are founding companies at an historic rate and in Australia, just over a third of businesses are owned by women (34%).

But while more women are starting businesses than ever before, only a handful of them ever take the step of launching their company internationally stage.

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), only 6% of women aim to internationalise their business, compared with 14% of men.

Why is that? Maybe women aren’t so great at international business? Perhaps their companies make things that don’t sell abroad?

In both cases the answer is a resounding no!

Companies run by women create functional, beautiful, innovative goods and services that are desirable, both at home and abroad.

These include strategic marketing, disposable nappies, the circular saw, multicultural marketing, jewellery, career consulting, bikinis, vitamin powder, gluten-free cake mix, tea … there’s no shortage of examples.

And when women do take their company abroad, they often do well.

While they don’t lack natural ability, women do face challenges when it comes to starting, growing and expanding a business internationally.

Access to finance

The greatest challenge for women-owned firms is access to capital, credit and equity. According to a study by Babson College (US), between 2011 and 2013, just 2.7% of venture capital raised in the US went to companies led by women.

The OECD reported that in all countries except for the United States, Mexico, Greece and Indonesia, women are less likely than men to get the financing needed to start a business.

Because they struggle to find external funding, women entrepreneurs often rely on self-financing. The Australian Women's Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AWCCI) survey of women business operators in Australia found that 66% of women's start-up funds came from personal savings and 25% from a credit card or bank loan.

Family commitments

The Australian Women in Business report says that female founders are more likely to be married with dependent children than any other employed people. So how do family commitments affect female business owners?

Katrina McCarter, Founder of Marketing to Mums says:

“In the past year, I have coached more than forty women business owners ... all mums with the majority being the primary carer of their children. They have an enormous workload and are incredibly stretched. They are, without exception, incredibly passionate about their business but struggle to drive growth. They do not always have the money to afford full-time care for their children, and many look to juggle the demands of parenthood and business until the business has grown enough to afford childcare. It can be a recipe for disappointment and sets up many mothers for business failure.”

Where are the mentors?

Everyone needs support in business, but there still isn’t that much specialised help around for women entrepreneurs. 

Although mentoring for women in business is on the rise, experienced female mentors are still in short supply. More still needs to be done for women to enjoy the same level of success as men.

I don’t know where to start

This is a phrase I hear frequently from women who want to expand their business abroad. Whereas the guys are often willing to make it up as they go, female business owners tend to be more structured and cautious. Without a clear pathway, many women are unwilling to move forward.

And that’s a problem, because there aren’t many structured pathways into international markets.
And if you don’t international business experience already, it can be tough going.

I just don’t have time

For women juggling family and business and doing it self-funded, time is at a premium. No wonder many female entrepreneurs feel they don’t have time to expand internationally.
Here’s where we come in

Dearin & Associates is a champion of women in business and as its founder, I am keen to see female entrepreneurs succeed on the global stage.

Our International Business Accelerator provides a structured pathway into international markets, from choosing the right country to start in right through to choosing the right team.

We work with companies in groups and one-to-one, so you never have to take the journey alone.

Our program is broken into small pieces and you can attend from anywhere, so it can accommodate even the most time-poor of schedules.

And because we recognise that access to finance is the leading issue for women business owners wanting to grow abroad, we are awarding a full scholarship to one year of the International Business Accelerator to one lucky female entrepreneur.

We’re also awarding several part scholarships to the program, to ease the way for promising entrepreneurs who are also women.

If you’re a woman who runs a business and wants to grow it overseas, don’t miss this opportunity. Go to www.internationalbusinessaccelerator.com/girls-going-global and fill in your application form today!

Cynthia Dearin is managing director and founder of  Dearin & Associates Visit: www.dearinassociates.com

 



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