Three pieces of advice every female entrepreneur needs to hear

Updated: 8 March 2023

International Women's Day serves as an important reminder of all the inspirational progress which has been made by women in the world of business, as well as the progress yet to be made.

Just take a look at the findings from the latest Rose Review, which revealed that in the last year a record 150,000 new firms were founded by women in the UK. However, it also highlighted that female entrepreneurs are still facing a myriad of challenges, and critically, they still find it much harder to access the funding they need. The same report also found that men in the UK are almost twice as likely to feel confident that they can find funding.

You can read more about the challenges female founders face when accessing finance in this blog from BFS’ Chief Strategic Development Officer, Lucile Flamand.

We know that being a female entrepreneur, especially in the early days, is not plain sailing, so we have put together our top three tips for starting out on your business journey:

1. Arm yourself with knowledge and confidence will follow

Research from the Rose Review confirms that a confidence gap exists between men and women, with just 39% of women confident in their capabilities to start a business, compared to 55% of men. That does not by any means mean that they are any less capable, but unfortunately, confidence is crucial and has a huge role to play in a business leaders’ future success.

There exists a great power in marketing yourself. Having faith in, and being able to speak about your business with confidence is fundamental to propelling growth. But it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. And it's not something you can just “switch on” on demand. The secret weapon? Arm yourself with knowledge.

There is an abundance of resources out there which you can use to build your arsenal of expertise and boost your confidence in your business, and yourself. As a first port of call, why not search for podcasts, webinars, blogs and free training courses on the topics outside of your comfort zone – whether that’s about growing your brand, understanding supply chain management or learning about funding options for businesses in your sector?

2. Tap into your networks

Networking opens doors for businesses. But, sadly, research from LinkedIn also shows that women typically tend to have less developed networks.

So, how can you start to develop your network, and form important business relationships? First, it is important to recognise the power of your existing network, and reach out to your family, friends and even your ex-colleagues, who will more than likely be more than willing to put you in touch with their network too.

We all know the age old saying, you don’t ask, you don't get. But it holds true. You must not be afraid to ask for favours, and also seek advice from those who inspire and interest you. Just ask them for a coffee, or a phone call - believe it or not, people like to help.

Another great way to get yourself and your business out there is to work on expanding your network outside of your comfort zone. There are plenty of industry networking events, groups and members clubs, which are likely on your doorstep – or online. For example, see this great list of support groups and resources available for female entrepreneurs.

3. Find the right funding for your business

Finally, as well as ensuring you have the confidence and resources to build your personal brand and business case, it is crucial that you have the right funding to grow your business.

No matter where you are on your business journey, it is so important to take the time out to sit down and plan your long term strategy, as well as understand your cashflow. This will enable you to understand what kind of financing is required to propel business growth and support your long term objectives.

It can be difficult to decide what type of funding or financing will work best for your business, and the choices can be overwhelming. Every business will need different financial support and there is no right or wrong answer, from VC funding to bank loans, and from invoice financing to asset finance, it all depends on the size and ambitions of your business. For more information, check out this handy guide we put together on financing your business.

To help you find the best solution for your business, Bibby Financial Services’s team of business funding experts are on hand to make sure you make the right decision. Contact us via our online form or call the team direct on 0808 501 6462.