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Roughly 42 percent of all U.S. small businesses are women-owned — which shouldn’t be surprising considering the drive women have to achieve their career dreams. Many experts believe that more and more women will turn to entrepreneurship in the coming years as small business ownership seems to promise greater opportunities for growth and success for women than traditional employment, where women are continuously compelled to earn less than their male colleagues.

Still, entrepreneurship is not entirely egalitarian. Women small business owners do continue to face greater challenges than male entrepreneurs, and understanding those challenges from the beginning could help the next generation of small business leaders overcome them with greater ease.

Social Expectations

Unfortunately, despite progress toward social equality, women are far from liberated from all social expectations of gender. In Western culture, many continue to believe that women should look and behave in certain ways, and that often extends to how women can and should function as entrepreneurs. Even within the business sphere, many professionals are surprised to encounter female business leaders and may impose their outdated outlooks on these leaders’ actions. Hopefully, the challenge of social expectations should wane with more female participation in entrepreneurship, but all professionals should try to assess their biases and work to overcome expectations that limit female success.

Accessing Funding

Smart entrepreneurs look for various sources of startup funding to ensure they have enough capital to achieve their goals, but unfortunately, women small business owners are much less likely to find success with certain types of funding. Investors, specifically, tend to be less attracted to women-owned businesses; one report found that only 3 percent of companies with VC funding had female CEOs.

Women in entrepreneurship often need to go above and beyond to access the funding they need to launch and grow their business. It might help to improve financial literacy, learning vocabulary like top line vs. bottom line as well as ratios like net and gross profit margin. However, female business leaders should also look for sources of funding that have been historically friendly to women-owned businesses.

Coping With Fear

Women tend to be more averse to risk than men — whether as a biological imperative or a culturally learned behavior, which is up for debate. As a result, because entrepreneurship is fraught with risk, women building their own small businesses often feel an undue level of fear of failure. This fear can prevent female entrepreneurs from making optimal decisions for their businesses, limiting their growth and success. The truth is that failure is a necessary component of entrepreneurship, and women need to mentally reframe failure as a means of improving their knowledge and skills rather than a sign that they cannot achieve success as small business leaders.

Recognizing Accomplishments

An unfortunate effect of women’s socialization is a widespread aversion to appearing arrogant. Many women will linguistically bend over backwards to avoid bragging, even if they are fully responsible for certain accomplishments and successes. Ultimately, this is detrimental to the female entrepreneur. Women in small business need to own up to the amazing feats they have accomplished throughout their careers, as these details will help to build their reputation as an effective business leader. Accepting and advertising one’s own accomplishments can attract high-quality funding, top talent and a loyal client base. Still, even the most confident women in business often feel the need to act more humbly, making this a difficult challenge to overcome.

Finding Support

No entrepreneur is an island. Every business owner, small or large, relies on an extensive personal and professional network, who can supply the support they need to achieve success. Unfortunately, female entrepreneurs often struggle to find the support they need, at home or at work, which limits their time and energy in pursuit of their goals. Women interested in launching their own small business may want to join professional networking groups made by and for female entrepreneurs or attend events such as WIN Conference, eWomenNetwork, Bizwomen and more.

Female entrepreneurship is on the rise, but women continue to encounter more obstacles to their small business success. By recognizing these challenges beforehand, women can develop strategies to overcome them and help break down those barriers for female entrepreneurs of the future.


In a utopian paradise, women would be able to do anything men can do, but in reality, there tend to be more and larger barriers to women’s achievement. Female job candidates tend to be scrutinized more intensely than male peers; female employees are less likely to receive responsibilities and opportunities, raises and promotions. So, many ambitious female professionals turn to entrepreneurship, hoping that they can create for themselves a work environment that allows them to achieve the success they crave.

Unfortunately, though it might seem that female business owners have the opportunity to control every aspect of business growth, the truth is that entrepreneurs do not operate in a vacuum. Business owners may have total control over decisions within their organization, but external systems upon which female entrepreneurs rely remain entrenched in gender bias that can interfere with their business goals and dreams.

An exceptional example of this is related to the financial services entrepreneurs require. Loan approval rates for female business owners are notoriously lower than that of their male peers; proportionally, only half of women entrepreneurs receive SBA loans compared to male entrepreneurs, and men in business are likely to take out SBA loan amounts 2.5 times higher than women.

But, is gender bias fully to blame for women business leaders’ difficulty accessing financing, or are there other issues at play? Read on to find out.

Women Tend to Own Businesses in the Retail Sector

There are female entrepreneurs working in every industry, from healthcare to waste management to construction, but one of the most popular industries for women business owners is retail. Retail trade involves selling merchandise, usually to consumers but sometimes to business clients. Bookstores are within the retail sector, as are convenience stores, grocery stores, ecommerce stores, mall kiosks and more. According to the Motley Fool, as much as 9 percent of all women-owned businesses fall into this category.

Yet, retail is risky. Retail businesses, especially young ones, tend to have higher expenses and lower revenues than businesses in other industries. Because lenders need to know that they will see a return on their loan, they are less likely to extend loans to retail businesses. Due to their choice of industry, these women will find it more difficult to secure funding.

Women Entrepreneurs Seek Funding With Younger Businesses

Lenders typically want to know as much as possible about a business before they extend financing, and more established businesses have more information to offer. Businesses that have been operating for more than two years can demonstrate many months of revenues and expenses, from which lenders can get a better sense of their success and their risk. Using this data, lenders can calculate exactly how much debt a business is likely to be able to handle, which makes them more likely to offer a useful loan.

However, it is much more difficult to reach two or more years of operation without the funding a business needs to survive in its earliest stages. Often, women with younger businesses will apply for a loan, be denied due to the age of their organization, and then succumb to business failure. Thus, female entrepreneurs can become trapped in a cycle of starting new businesses and being unable to secure the financing they need.

Women Generally Have Lower Credit Scores

Lenders assess not only a business’s credit score but the personal credit score of its owner and leader, as well, to determine whether a business can be trustworthy with debt. Some lenders are pickier than others when it comes to the quality of credit score they will accept; banks want to see a perfect credit history, whereas online lenders might be willing to accept a slightly lower score (in exchange for higher fees, of course).

Unfortunately, women tend to have lower credit scores than men. This is likely due to the fact that women earn lower salaries than men, increasing their reliance on credit cards for essential bills. When credit utilization is higher, credit scores decrease, making it more difficult for a female business owner to acquire financing.

Gender Discrimination Remains a Serious Issue

Many lenders supply the reasons listed above as justification for accepting women’s business loan applications at a lower rate, but the truth is that gender bias likely remains a factor in preventing many female entrepreneurs from accessing the funding they need. Frustratingly, there is little that female business owners can do to fight this kind of discrimination — except continue to operate a thriving business that contributes to the changing narrative around female professional capability.

Female entrepreneurs who do need access to financing might conduct deep research to find lenders who are known to be friendly to women-owned businesses. Women should also know more about what type of loan they need and demand loan amounts and terms that suit their business projections. There is a big difference between business bridge loans and business lines of credit, and applying for the right financial product will help women achieve success.

We don’t live in a utopian paradise, and gender bias continues to make it difficult for women to achieve professional success in almost every way. Still, with hard work, perseverance and diligent research, female entrepreneurs can acquire the funding they need to build a business.


Some entrepreneurs aren’t in business to present a new idea; they’re there because they love the thrill of entrepreneurship. These individuals aren’t necessarily looking to revolutionize anything. All they want is a business resistant to the ebb and flow of the economy. For some, the current events in the US are feeding fears of an impending recession. Reasonable or irrational speculation, only time will tell. In this article, Adam Ferrari – CEO of Ferrari Energy – details seven industries considered recession-resistant.


Innovative technology is at the forefront of the global economy. We love our widgets, and technology holds out the promise of making our lives evermore productive, enjoyable, safe, and healthy. A prolonged recession could be expected to dampen high-end, less essential technology products. Still, household and business staples such as phones, TVs, and computers will continue to sell with additional competitive pressure.


Our need for reliable energy is constant. This reliance is not dependant on economic conditions. Innovative energy solutions can be expected to experience waning interest. Still, legacy energy sources such as oil, natural gas, coal, wind power, and solar will continue to meet the country’s needs.

Pet products

Maybe not the most obvious candidate for this list, but people are not any more likely to stop caring for their pets under poor economic conditions than they are their family members.

Healthcare and Senior Services

Hopefully, even more than pets, people will not decrease their healthcare expenditures under anything less than the direst economic conditions. People continue to age and become ill and will need medical services. These are the least discretionary services.


Even in an economic recession, construction will continue. It may look different than it does under bright financial news, but it will continue nonetheless. If new homes sales slump, upgrades and remodel work usually increases.


Poor economic conditions affect scofflaws just as they do law-abiding citizens. Poor economic conditions historically have been accompanied by an increase in crime. The need for security, both physical and cyber, will not decrease in a financial downturn. The more cost-effective a security solution is, the better it will fair in these conditions.

Food and Beverage

People need to eat no matter the stock market. Every other category will suffer before food and beverage. The more basic the food item, the more stable it will prove to be. Exotic items are more susceptible to economic conditions.

To find the common denominator for all of the above industries or to identify others, ask, “what will people need, even if the economy tanks?”

About Adam Ferrari

Adam Ferrari is an accomplished petroleum engineer and is the founder of a private oil and gas company, Ferrari Energy. Throughout various roles in the oil and gas industry, Adam was inspired to learn more about property rights and the inner workings of petroleum exploration and extraction. After gaining expertise in the energy sector, Adam obtained knowledge of the financial industry through his time at an investment banking firm. He then pivoted to bootstrapping his own business from the ground up as he blended his energy and finance knowledge. 


Have you been trying to apply for a small business loan without any glimpse of success? If so, then you should know that thousands of others are undergoing similar experience across the globe. Actually, research shows that 74% of small business loan applications are rejected by many lending institutions especially the banks and some alternative small business loans lenders. This might be a high figure but not surprising at all. This is because, a couple of reasons exists to justify the reluctance of lending institutions to give loans to small businesses. Therefore, if you want to increase the odds of approval, you ought to familiarize with these reasons and how to lessen the risks.

  1. Your business lacks a significant history

Lenders usually feel comfortable when extending loans to those enterprises which have been operating for a relatively long period.  This way, the lender is able to assess the credit worthiness of a business as well as its ability to repay back.  Therefore, for a new company, it is difficult to convince a lender with a word of mouth or a mere business plan without a compelling operation history. However, this should not discourage new entrepreneurs as they can seek funding from other sources which usually don’t dwell much on operation history. Some of such lenders include the Venture Capitalist Investors, crowdfunding, and many others.

2. Your business is in a high-risk industry

Traditional lending institutions have got strict rules which they usually prioritize while gauging the qualifications of loan applicants. One of such rules is the assessment of a business   failure rate. This is whereby a bank will determine whether the business to be funded is likely to thrive or fail in future depending on various micro and macro economy factors as determined by the lender. Therefore, once a bank has considered your business to have high failure rate, the chances of receiving funding is almost zero. The solution to this is seeking alternative lenders and also seeking for recommendation from other entrepreneurs in the same industry.

3. Weak cash flow

When your business lacks a solid and strong cash flow, chances of having your loan approved are very minimal. The reason for this is that lenders will question the ability of your business to service the loan on full and also on time. Therefore, prior to delivering the application, make it your priority to assess the financial statements of your business and come up with a plan on how you will be repaying the loan on monthly basis. To boost the financial flow of your business, make sure all the goods or services delivered are paid on time if not promptly.

4. Poor Credit score

Lenders usually check the personal or business credit score to determine the worthiness of extending a loan. If the business is new, some lenders will go for the personal credit score especially if the business has no long history. Therefore, if the score happens to be below a certain acceptable threshold, then the chances of having loan approved is very low. To address this, usually check both personal and your business credit reports and ensure any existing anomaly is fixed before applying for a loan.

5. Lack of Plan

While applying for a small business loan, it is prudent to build a strong case which will remove doubts from a lender on your capability to repay. One of such ways of building a solid case is having a candid plan on how to use the loan as well as the repayment plan. If this plan lacks, or is not strong enough to convince the lender, then chances of approval are very low. Therefore, always develop a solid plan and perhaps let a friend have a look at it before you go for the loan.

6. Applying for very low amount

I know you are wondering how asking for too little will affect your chances of securing a loan. Well, it depends from where you are sourcing the loan.  Usually, commercial banks prefer issuing large loans since they obtain more profits from them as opposed to the small ones. Since the resources and efforts required to service both the small and large loans are the same, banks will often be reluctant to offer a loan of less than $250,000. However, applying for a very large amount without a solid plan on how to repay will also get you rejected.  Therefore, always purpose to understand the standard amount which you can get from the bank by perhaps asking friends.

Being aware of the above reasons why a small business loan application might fail is the first step towards securing a successful funding. Therefore, keep note of the above points and they will surely help you in your future small business loan application.


Everyone seeks a career that they really love, that gets them out of bed in the morning with a thirst to get to work and get started. And while millions of people never reach this point, it isn’t impossible.

The most important thing to do is to make it a priority to develop those special interests into something that pays your bills. It sounds simple enough, but we already mentioned that millions of people never do it. They may prefer the down time of not owning the company. For some, it’s just more satisfying to clock out and be done with it for the day.

But you may hate being in that spot. How can you avoid that lifelong regret of slugging away in a boring 9-to-5 while others have an invigorating career that doesn’t feel like work? It takes time and persistence, but there’s a path. We’ll look at this from the perspective of an entrepreneurial opportunity, but there are lots of other avenues that will follow these same principles.

Find The Right Partners

You’re unlikely to have a “Eureka!” moment that turns your world on its ear, and even if you do, you’ll need other people to help you turn it over.

Getting the right people in your corner is essential to making your passion into your career. You need a lot of experts in this complicated business climate. You’ll need tech people who can give you a presence on social media, a data recovery company to protect your legal interests, and financial management experts who will ensure that you stay in the government’s good graces and that you are positioned for retirement.

It may sound premature to get these people on board very early in the game, but so many problems can be avoided if you set things up correctly in the very beginning. Matters like copyrights, trademarks, ownership arrangements, and much more will be at the forefront from Day One.

Developing Your Skill

Okay, so you may be a great amateur chef. You may have even won contests or reached other accolades that recognize your culinary skill. But if you’re self-taught, you may not have what it takes to run a restaurant or catering firm.

The same is true of any aspiration. You may have just enough skill to fail; if you strike out on your own when you’re still short of qualifications, you could wipe out.

In the earliest days of your foray into entrepreneurship, you need to plow some of your profits back into improving your skills, no matter how good you already think you are. There are all kinds of certifications that will be necessary in almost any field, whether it’s IT service, massage therapy, or anything else you may try. Get the education, get the letters after your name, get whatever you need to sustain your career.

Building A Long-Term Plan

So now that you’re on your way, you have to decide just where your way leads. Do you simply want to run your business until you reach retirement age, then sell out and go to the islands? Or do you want to hedge against economic downturns and build the company to a high value, then sell it and move forward as a serial entrepreneur?

Maybe you want to pass things down to your kids and give them the opportunity to have the same career enjoyment that you had. It’s entirely up to you; you’re the boss, after all. But whatever course you choose, there are things you’ll have to put in place to make it come to fruition.

If you want to sell, get your legal ducks in a row. Know your company’s value. If you want to retire, talk with advisors about how to structure your retirement funds. If you want to pass it on, get a good succession plan that won’t one day ding your kids with tax burdens (or you with capital gains.)

We all want to work at something we enjoy. For many, the option to report to work for 40 hours a week and walk away at 5pm is ideal. Others want to do more; if that’s you, it can be done. Just plan it and carry out your plan.


Starting your own business is something that many people dream of doing, but not many people actually achieve. Starting a business takes a great deal of hard work, time, and often money, and these are the reasons that many people opt out of entrepreneurship.

Starting a business also comes with many risks, such as the risk of failing and losing all the time and money you just put into it.

If you are considering starting a business, buying an existing business, or if you already have done either one, it’s important to know what rewards come from the risks. The following are the top incentives for starting your own business, and they may just outweigh the risks.

You get to be your own boss.

One of the biggest incentives in starting a business is that you get to be your own boss. You don’t have to do your job the way someone else wants you to, and you don’t have to listen to someone who is less skilled than you are. Instead, you get to be in charge, and you get to make all the decisions, and you have nobody to answer to but yourself. You get to decide the hours you work. You get to decide what marketing collateral you use. You even get to determine the dress code for the company. For some people, not having to answer to anybody else is the biggest reward or entrepreneurship.

You get to (possibly) work from home.

As long as your business doesn’t require the need for a warehouse or manufacturing plant, you can likely do your job from home in a virtual office. You don’t have to worry about sitting through an awful commute, you don’t have to get out of your pajamas if you don’t want to (as long as you’re not seeing clients), and you don’t have to worry about paying for a storefront or utilities, which can decrease the cost of the business. As long as you have a professional workspace to do your job, and the technology solutions to help you do the job successfully, you’ll enjoy not having an office to go to every day.

You get the recognition and reward.

As a business owner, it’s a major accomplishment to take a business from scratch and turn it into something successful. Doing this can earn you respect in your industry, especially if your company becomes extremely successful and expands.

You also get to enjoy the rewards of owning a business. For example, if you’re the sole employee of the company, you get to keep the profits (aside from what you need for taxes and to put back into the business). This could be significantly more than what you’d make being someone’s employee. You also get to enjoy the rewards of expansion if it happens for your business. Who knows? In a few years, your in-home company may turn into a franchise, and you’ll certainly enjoy all those perks.

Starting a business can be a major accomplishment, so if it’s something you really want to do, weigh the risks and rewards and determine if the rewards outweigh the risks.