Women have always been a driving force in the economy, but in recent years, they have increasingly become a powerful force in entrepreneurship. In fact, according to the 2019 State of Women-Owned Business Report, there are now an estimated 12.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States alone. While this is certainly a cause for celebration, it also highlights the importance of financial literacy for female entrepreneurs.
When you are your own boss, there is no one else to rely on but yourself to keep track of your finances. Not to mention, when you are in control of your own finances, you make better business decisions, you are in a better position to negotiate better deals, make sound investments, and plan for the future.
All business owners need to be financially literate to make sound decisions for their businesses, but this is especially true for women. That’s because women face unique challenges in entrepreneurship, including gender bias and a lack of access to capital. As a result, financial literacy is critical for female entrepreneurs who want to be successful. Kortney Murray, CEO of Coastal Kapital, is passionate about educating entrepreneurs to be more financially literate, especially women. Here she shares why financial literacy is so important for female entrepreneurs.
What is Financial Literacy?
Simply put, financial literacy is the ability to understand and use financial concepts. This includes knowledge of budgeting, saving, investing, and credit. Financial literacy is essential for everyone, but it’s especially critical for business owners who need to make sound decisions about allocating resources.
Why is Financial Literacy Important for Female Entrepreneurs?
There are several reasons why financial literacy is so important for female entrepreneurs. First and foremost, women face unique challenges when accessing capital. According to a report from Goldman Sachs, women are less likely than men to have business loans or lines of credit. In fact, only 39% of women said they had access to these types of financing options compared to 53% of men. This lack of access to capital can put female entrepreneurs at a significant disadvantage.
“A lot of women look to those around us, especially father figures, to help us navigate the world of finances. Unfortunately, this leaves us with less understanding of the whole ecosystem, and when that go-to person is no longer there, we feel lost. Without spending hours and hours on research, day and night on Google, we don’t have any other resources,” says Murray.
“People in the banking sector will consider what you look like ‘in a box,’ often saying no based purely on preconceived beliefs. I want to change that and offer more opportunity for women to access capital to fund projects that will truly make a difference.”
In addition to these challenges with accessing capital, female entrepreneurs also face gender bias when it comes to securing funding. A study from Boston Consulting Group found that male entrepreneurs are twice as likely as female entrepreneurs to say they received “excellent” funding offers from investors. Moreover, only 2% of female entrepreneurs said they could secure funding without hesitation compared to 10% of men. These disparities show that women face unique challenges in obtaining business funding.
Finally, financial literacy is essential for female entrepreneurs because they often wear many hats within their businesses. In addition to being responsible for their companies’ day-to-day operations, women are more likely than men to be responsible for tasks like caring for children or elderly parents. Unfortunately, this can leave them with less time and energy to focus on developing their financial literacy skills. As a result, women need to seek out resources to help them build their financial literacy skills to make sound decisions for their businesses.
How Can You Improve Your Financial Literacy?
If you’re not financially literate, don’t worry – it’s never too late to start learning. Several resources available can help you improve your financial literacy, including books, websites, articles, and even online courses. You can also talk to a financial advisor or accountant to get guidance on specific financial problems. The most important thing is to take the time to educate yourself so that you can make sound financial decisions for your business.
As a female entrepreneur, you must have a firm understanding of the basics of financial literacy. With this knowledge, you’ll be better equipped to make sound decisions about the future of your business—decisions that will help your business grow and thrive for years to come!