How can we encourage more girls to consider entrepreneurship a career choice?
When I remember my teenage years, I knew I wanted to go into business one day. I didn’t know anyone with their own company, and none of my friends wanted to go into business. My parents didn’t think it was as sensible an idea as focussing on my school work to achieve a good job – perhaps they hoped it was a phase.
I don’t remember anyone championing how young people get started, let alone encouraging women in business. Thankfully though, it was at the time that businesswomen started to appear on TV with the launch of shows like The Apprentice and Dragons’ Den. It was just enough to keep my dream in mind, but I didn’t know how or when I’d go into business.
We’ve come a long way since then, but still, research finds that just 20% of UK businesses are all-female-led, which shows there’s more to do to encourage women into business. To help address this, I think we can do more to teach girls about going into business.
Here are some ways to encourage girls to consider entrepreneurship:
Provide role models: Highlighting successful women entrepreneurs to help inspire and motivate girls to pursue entrepreneurship. This could be through mentorship programs, networking events, or guest speaker sessions.
Teach entrepreneurship skills: Providing entrepreneurship education to help girls develop the skills needed to start and run a business. This could be through programs, workshops on business planning, marketing, financial management, and leadership courses.
Promote confidence and risk-taking: Encouraging girls to take calculated risks and develop confidence in their abilities to help them succeed as entrepreneurs. This might be through workshops or coaching focussed on building self-esteem, resilience, and risk-taking.
Create opportunities for hands-on learning: Providing opportunities for girls to participate in entrepreneurship activities such as business plan competitions, start-up incubators, or entrepreneurship clubs can help them to gain practical experience and develop their skills.
Foster a supportive community: Creating a supportive community for female entrepreneurs to help build confidence and reduce barriers to entry. This could be achieved through networking events, online communities, or peer support groups.
What else could we do to encourage more girls to start their own company?