Donald Trump has been getting lot of press lately. But the article that interested me the most was the one about his daughter, Ivanka.
Posted on our Facebook page last week, the article discussed how Ivanka Trump is working her way to a leadership position in her family’s four-generation development company. Ivanka explained in the article that her father never treated her differently than her two brothers at the company.
Research shows that older generations in family businesses are increasingly open to the idea of the best person taking over, removing the gender bias that may previously have kept women out of family business leadership positions. There are, of course, still barriers to ascension, but the tide seems to be turning.
According to the Kauffman Foundation, women-owned businesses are 30% of all firms. But women business owners still face crucial barriers to success, like lower access to capital than their male counterparts. Interestingly, individual women who work also face a financial barrier to success with the gender wage gap, earning on average 78% of what men earn for full-time work.
I am finding that more and more women are actually interested in starting their own enterprise, whether it is for-profit or socially based. The women entrepreneurs I know are motivated by income potential and time flexibility, being their own boss and not having to worry about discriminatory barriers, and usually, a sincere interest in serving others and making life better. For some women, having their own business is the most effective way to overcome income inequality, bypass discriminatory barriers, and find a way to do fulfilling, meaningful work on their own terms.
As an educator, I see huge value in teaching girls and women about Entrepreneurship, whether or not they want to own their own business one day. Entrepreneurship is all about creativity and resourcefulness. Equally important are the required elements of tenacity and resiliency — every entrepreneur knows in their world, it is a must to embrace failure, and to learn to bounce back with an even better idea.
But the financial side of Entrepreneurship is equally important. Understanding how business finances work is critical, of course, but also understanding how investing works is extremely important given the need start-ups have for funding. The financial building blocks for personal and business finance have tremendous overlap. Given the barriers that women entrepreneurs and working women in general face with income equality, financial education and greater capability is critical to long-term success.