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Women and Men Entrepreneurs Take Different Paths
Toward Business Success

Women are more likely than men to have a mentor before opening a businessWomen business owners are less likely than their men counterparts to have a mentor before opening a business, but more likely to consult outside sources on business management and growth issues, according to a survey from the National Foundation for Women Business Owners (NFWBO).

When owners of fast-growth firms were starting or acquiring their firms, less than half of the women had a mentor or role model.

“Women who own fast-growing businesses are also less likely than men who own fast-growing firms to indicate that someone close to them was an entrepreneur when they were growing up,” said Mark Lange, executive director of the Edward Lowe Foundation. "Only 43 percent of fast-growth women owners had an entrepreneurial role model, compared to 59 percent of fast-growth men owners.”

However, women may compensate for the lack of mentors by consulting more with outside sources while they grow their businesses. When asked who they consult with on business issues, women owners of fast-growing businesses are the most likely to say they consult with accountants, family members and fellow business owners.

“Gaining new perspectives from outside sources on business management and growth issues is an important ingredient in expanding a business,” Lange said. “Sixty percent of the fast-growth women owners consult with accountants compared to 44 percent of men owners of fast-growing firms. Furthermore, women owners of fast-growing firms are the most likely to discuss business issues with their family and fellow business owners.”

While 49 percent of these fast-growth women discuss business management with their family, only 36 percent of fast-growth men do. Thirty-one percent of fast-growth women confer with fellow business owners compared to 26 percent of fast-growth men.

The survey, “Entrepreneurial Vision in Action: Exploring Growth Among Women- and Men-Owned Firms” was conducted in mid-2000 among 1,194 business owners — 602 women and 592 men.

(Source: NFWBO)

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