DENVER, Colo. – When it comes to businesses in America, women owned companies make up 40%. Although that number is on the rise, women are facing different challenges in order to achieve success.
About 11.6 million businesses are owned by women, but Madhavan Parthasarathy, Director of Entrepreneurship at University of Colorado Denver, says a majority of those businesses are small.
Parthasarathy says women aren’t achieving success at the same rate as men because they are outnumbered.
"The biggest challenge is to be taken serious,” said Parthasarathy. “It's not just a challenge starting a business but getting funding for a business.
Besides landing investors, Parthasarathy says it's hard for women to find mentors and connect with a network of other entrepreneurs to help grow their businesses.
Sarah Ortega with Sarah O. Jewelry knows a thing or two about the struggles of owning a business. Despite the disadvantages, she says women have an edge that helps them.
"We are humble people,” said Ortega. “We like to collaborate with other people and we really feel emotion."
A downfall – women can be their own worst critics.
"If you can learn to take that negative self-talk and say ‘not today, not today, I’m not going to listen to you today. I’m going to grow and make something beautiful.’ If you can do that, that’s when things start to change."
Male or female, both Ortega and Parthasarathy say mistakes will happen when owning your own business.
"That's one of the most important things about being an entrepreneur is to not get down and out on your mistakes," said Ortega. “If I make a mistake I go ‘okay cool where do we take that mistake and make it a learning and experience and grow from it.’"
One company who's a big advocate of women owned businesses is Secret. Every Wednesday in the month of December, the company is encouraging people to shop at a woman owned business.