Critical Resources for Women Entrepreneurs

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Women account for a little more than a third of all business owners in the United States. In addition to being underrepresented, women face hurdles when it comes to financing, particularly in accessing venture capital. Because of this, women have to fight even harder than other entrepreneurs to get ahead.

Here are some of the top resources available to help women entrepreneurs thrive:

Books

A quick stroll through the business section of your local bookshop or your favorite online bookseller yields a long list of titles. These inspiring tomes cover everything from decision making and time management to sales techniques. Some of the best titles have a unique message for women in particular.

If you're looking for inspiration, check out Amoruso's personal tale. In this memoir meets business book, the founder of NastyGal serves up her personal anecdotes along with a side of advice any woman entrepreneur can use.

In the same vein as #GirlBoss, BossyPants blends memoir with business advice. Fey's trademark wit make this book fun as well as functional.

From the upper echelons of the Facebook board room, Sandberg provides the motivational advice women need to succeed. This book explains how women are holding themselves back, and it offers tips on boosting your motivation and drive.

Although not geared exclusively for women, this book appeals to a woman’s sense of empathy. In particular, Covey explains how to use empathy to improve client relationships and drive overall business productivity.

Designed for the woman who wants to "have it all," this book provides compelling tips on how to balance personal and business endeavors. The author also runs a subscription service where women can sign up to have timely advice emailed to them.

TED Talks

TED Talks cover nearly every topic under the sun, including education, innovation, inspiration and women's entrepreneurial issues mix. If you want a bit of video inspiration, check out the following talks.

Success is about more than just business basics; it's also about believing in yourself. This TED talk gives you advice on subduing the negative voices in your head and listening to the ones that drive you toward success.

Craving a bit of inspiration? Need to hear some uplifting news? Check out this talk on how things have changed for women and learn about the power and opportunity available for female entrepreneurs.

Podcasts

If you'd rather listen than read or watch, check out a podcast. Usually delivered weekly, the following shows provide advice curated for women entrepreneurs.

  • Entrepreneurs in Vogue

Hosted by Iman Oubou, an entrepreneur, mentor, humanitarian and former Miss New York, this podcast tries to pin down what makes women successful. Every week, it interviews different female entrepreneurs under the age of 35 and from around the world.

  • Biz Chix

Hosted by Natalie Eckdahl, Biz Chix focuses more on advice than storytelling. The podcast presents tips on everything from social media marketing to product development.

  • Forbes Podcasts

Forbes podcasts focus on a variety of topics, featuring a range of hosts. The target audience is millennial women, but the advice can appeal to all female entrepreneurs of all ages. Podcasts in this series include The Failure Factor, Mentoring Moments and Creating Espacios.

  • Stroke of Insight With Jill Bolte Taylor

This TED talk focuses on fascination and how it's triggered. From a business perspective, you can harness these facts to get your clients to fall in love with your products or services.

Time Management Tools

As a women entrepreneur, you likely have to juggle a lot. You have to balance your personal and professional lives. Fortunately, there are lots of time management apps that can help.

A relatively simple app, Toggl lets you track the time you spend on various projects. It can help you with billing clients, but it can also help you assess where you're investing time and which changes you need to make.

Clear lets you create to-do lists, helps you break big goals into manageable chunks and allows you to set reminders so you don't forget anything.

If you travel a lot, TripIt can help you organize your trips, book flights and track expenses. It also streamlines tax prep by keeping your travel expenses in one spot.

Grants

You've got organizational tools, inspiring podcasts, and educational books, but you also need funding. Unfortunately, women entrepreneurs often find it difficult to access funding. This is especially true when you look at venture capital. Luckily, there are some grant programs that help to bridge this gap.

Run by the Small Business Administration, this program holds competitions for female entrepreneurs around the country. Winners of local competitions go to the national competition in Washington, DC, where they compete for a total of $70,000 in grants. To qualify, businesses must make life easier for women or families and must also fill a need in the marketplace.

Launched in 2004, this program distributes $120,000 in grants annually. Earmarked for women entrepreneurs or for businesses with majority female ownership, this grant is only available to for-profit businesses with less than $1 million in revenues. There are up ten winners annually, and they receive at least $12,000 each.

There are over 100 Women's Business Centers around the country. These organizations offer a range of services, which vary from chapter to chapter. In most cases, women can access mentoring and educational services through these organizations. In many cases, they can also get information on grants and how to apply.

Although women business owners are underrepresented and face numerous financial challenges, women can still forge ahead in entrepreneurship. Using the resources above can help you and your business thrive.

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