How to Advocate for Policies That Support Women in Entrepreneurship

Let’s face it, the world of entrepreneurship hasn’t exactly been a level playing field. While women make up a significant chunk of the workforce, they often find themselves starting and owning fewer businesses than men. It’s honestly not even a close contest.  With that said, what’s the deal with this? For sure, it’s not a lack of ambition or talent on the women’s side – it’s about those pesky systemic barriers that keep popping up.

The good news is that policies can be powerful tools for change. We can explore in this article what we can do to make waves and support our fellow female founders. With the right policies in place, we can dismantle these barriers, open up new avenues of opportunity, and create a business landscape where everyone has a fair shot—regardless of gender.


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Key Challenges Women Entrepreneurs Face

Now, let’s dive into the specific obstacles women entrepreneurs commonly encounter. It’s kind of like a frustrating obstacle course that they didn’t sign up for:

Access to Funding

Imagine having an awesome business idea ready to rock the world but not being able to secure the money to bring it to life. Disappointingly, this is a reality many women entrepreneurs face.  

Whether it’s getting a fair shake when applying for loans or finding investors who believe in their vision, women-owned businesses often end up with smaller slices of the funding pie compared to their male counterparts. Why? Sometimes it’s outright discrimination, but often it’s those sneaky unconscious biases and outdated ways of thinking that need overhauling.

Limited Networks and Mentorship

They say it’s not just what you know, but who you know… right? Well, the business world still has a bit of an ‘old boys’ club’ vibe in some corners. That means women entrepreneurs might have a tougher time finding their way into those power circles where deals get made and connections flourish. Plus, when it comes to having experienced mentors who can guide and support them, women often find those options more limited.


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Balancing Work and Family

Let’s be real, being a successful entrepreneur is a 24/7 hustle. Yet here’s the thing—women frequently shoulder the lion’s share of responsibilities when it comes to childcare and managing a household. This double duty leaves them with less time and energy to focus fully on building their businesses. It’s a balancing act that too often leaves women entrepreneurs stretched thin.

These are just some of the major hurdles out there. There’s a lot of ground to cover, but understanding these challenges is the first step in crafting powerful policies to address them!

Policy Solutions with Real-World Impact

Alright, now that we’ve laid out the challenges, it’s time to talk about solutions!  Think of policy changes as power-ups in a video game – they can help women entrepreneurs level up and navigate those obstacles we talked about. Here are a few game-changing ideas:

Government-Backed Funding Initiatives

Imagine programs specifically designed to get funding into the hands of women-owned businesses – grants, loans, you name it! Yet we need to go beyond just throwing money at the problem. What about changing the way lending decisions are made? Increasing the number of women calling the shots at financial institutions could make a huge difference in eliminating bias from the process.

Mentorship and Networking Programs

Let’s connect women entrepreneurs with seasoned pros who’ve been there, and done that. Mentorship programs can provide invaluable guidance, helping women navigate the business landscape and avoid certain pitfalls. And how about fostering dedicated networks where women entrepreneurs can share experiences, find collaborators, and support one another?  Think of it like a powerful community boosting everyone’s chances of success.

Supporting Infrastructure for Working Mothers

Here’s the deal: you can’t be a fully focused entrepreneur if you’re constantly juggling childcare worries. We need policies that make affordable, reliable childcare a reality. Let’s also throw in flexible work arrangements and remote work options that let women balance business and family responsibilities. It’s a win-win: women have more space to reach their entrepreneurial potential, and businesses benefit from their untapped talent.

The Broader Benefits of Supporting Women Entrepreneurs

Okay, let’s be honest, advocating for women entrepreneurs isn’t just about fairness (although that’s super important!). It’s also incredibly smart from an economic standpoint. Here’s why:

Economic Growth and Job Creation

When you unlock the potential of women in business, you unleash a tidal wave of economic activity. Women-led businesses can fuel growth, create jobs, and boost entire communities. It’s not just about benefiting individual women, but about strengthening our economies as a whole.

Innovation and Diversity

Let’s face it, the same old perspectives lead to the same old solutions. Women bring fresh ideas and approaches to the table, which sparks greater innovation. Plus, businesses that are more diverse and inclusive tend to be more successful. When we support women entrepreneurs, we’re essentially investing in a more dynamic and prosperous future for everyone.

That’s the big-picture stuff! Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how to make these policy changes a reality. Because that’s where things get really exciting!


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Breaking Down Unconscious Bias

Okay, here’s the thing about bias – it’s sneaky. We all carry unconscious biases that can influence our decisions without us even realizing it. Think of them as mental shortcuts that can unfairly disadvantage women in the business world.  The good news is, we can tackle this!

Training and Education

Let’s make unconscious bias training the norm, especially for people making decisions that impact entrepreneurs – like investors, lenders, and anyone else with the power to open doors or close them. These trainings go beyond saying “don’t be biased.” They help people understand how bias actually operates and develop strategies to manage it.

Highlighting Success Stories

Sometimes, to break down stereotypes, you need to smash them with inspiring examples. Let’s celebrate the stories of women entrepreneurs who defied expectations and built incredible businesses. By shining a spotlight on their achievements, we start to chip away at outdated ideas of who “fits” the image of a successful entrepreneur. I’m not saying we should not celebrate anyone else but women, I’m just saying it has to be a fair game. 

I’m sure that if people do this for decades to come, unconscious bias will slowly fade away.


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Tackling Cultural Barriers

Beyond the individual biases, let’s talk about those deeply ingrained societal expectations that hold women back.

Challenging Traditional Gender Roles

It’s the 21st century, but outdated ideas about men being the “breadwinners” and women being the “caregivers” still linger.  These stereotypes put unfair burdens on women trying to run a business. We need policies that support a more equitable sharing of responsibilities at home – things like expanded paternity leave and flexible work schedules that work for everyone. This gives both men and women a fairer shot at pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams.

Encouraging Girls in STEM

The seeds of entrepreneurship are often planted early.  If we want to see more women-led tech startups and groundbreaking innovations, we’ve got to get girls excited about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) from a young age. That means programs that spark their curiosity, mentorship from awesome women in STEM, and breaking down those stereotypes that tell girls “those subjects aren’t for you.”

Think about it this way: tackling unconscious bias and changing social norms isn’t just about helping women entrepreneurs today – it’s about creating a future where every girl with a brilliant idea sees herself reflected in the business world.

Global Perspective

Sometimes, the best solutions come from looking beyond our own backyards. Let’s take a virtual trip around the world to see what other countries are doing to support women in entrepreneurship.


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Best Practices from Around the World

Think of it as the “greatest hits” of awesome policies. Some countries have made huge strides with quota systems, let’s look at some of these practices:

Quota Systems in Europe: Several European countries, including Norway, France, and Italy, have implemented quota systems to increase the percentage of women on corporate boards. This ensures that women have seats at the tables where major business decisions are made. While sometimes controversial, these quotas have shown success in shifting the balance of power.

 Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy: Canada’s government has a comprehensive plan specifically designed to support women entrepreneurs. It includes things like funding programs tailored for women-led businesses, mentorship initiatives, and resources to help women access international markets. They’re not just talking the talk, but putting real resources behind empowering women entrepreneurs.

 Chile’s focus on Childcare:  Chile recognizes that access to childcare is crucial for women to fully participate in the workforce. They’ve implemented programs to provide subsidized daycare and after-school care, taking a huge burden off working mothers and freeing them up to pursue business ownership.

 Gender-Lens Investing in Developing Nations: This approach is gaining traction globally.  It means taking gender into account when making investment decisions. Investors are actively seeking out women-led businesses, recognizing their potential for growth and social impact. This shifts financial power into the hands of women entrepreneurs, especially in areas of the world where access to capital has traditionally been limited.

Remember, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. It’s about looking at what’s working in other countries, understanding the specific challenges we face, and then intelligently adapting these successful policy models to our own situation.


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How to Get Involved and Make Your Voice Heard

Okay, we’ve talked about challenges, solutions, and global inspiration. But now, here’s the most important question: What can YOU actually do?

Join Advocacy Groups

Find those organizations out there fighting for women in business. They’re organizing campaigns, lobbying policymakers, and providing support resources. By joining these communities, you multiply your impact and get plugged into real-world action.

Contacting Elected Officials

Don’t underestimate the power of your voice!  Find out who your representatives are and let them know that you care about policies supporting women entrepreneurs. Write letters, make phone calls, or even try to snag a meeting. The more people speak up, the harder it is for politicians to ignore this issue.

Amplifying the Voices of Women Entrepreneurs

Share the stories of successful women entrepreneurs – it can be your friend who finally launched her Etsy shop, or big-name CEOs you admire. Let’s celebrate their victories and make their journeys visible. By highlighting these role models, we inspire others and shift the narrative around what’s possible for women in business.

 Think of it this way: You don’t have to be a policy expert to make a difference. It all starts with awareness, with speaking up, and with supporting the women entrepreneurs in your own community.


In Conclusion

Okay, we’ve covered a LOT of ground. We’ve talked about the obstacles facing women entrepreneurs, game-changing policy ideas, and how anyone can get involved in making a difference. Now, let’s bring it all together!

Picture this: a future where women-owned businesses aren’t the exception, but the norm. A future where women have equal access to the funding, the networks, and the support they need to turn their innovative ideas into thriving enterprises.

 This isn’t just about helping women, although that’s obviously essential.  It’s about unlocking a huge reservoir of untapped economic potential, creativity, and problem-solving power that benefits our entire society.

 Here’s the thing: this future isn’t going to magically appear. It takes all of us – women, men, policymakers, business leaders, and everyday citizens – to make it happen. We must also cheer one another on, and send the (proverbial) elevator down and up for one another.

 If you’re ready to take your commitment to supporting women entrepreneurs to the next level, the Empire Life Mastermind is here. 

 As a community of driven individuals passionate about this cause, we provide the knowledge, guidance, and connections you need to be a true catalyst for change. Learn more here.

 Educate yourself: Keep learning about the issues women entrepreneurs face. The more you know, the better equipped you are to be a force for change.

 Use your voice: Talk to your friends, family, and coworkers about the importance of supporting women in business. Amplify the voices of women entrepreneurs and challenge those outdated stereotypes whenever you encounter them.

 Take action: Join an advocacy group, contact your representatives, invest in women-owned businesses… 

 Even small actions add up!

Remember, progress doesn’t happen overnight, but it DOES happen through consistent effort. Imagine the kind of world we could create for our daughters, nieces, and for all the aspiring women entrepreneurs out there – a world where their potential is never limited by their gender.  

 That’s a future worth fighting for!


 Hoping this article finds you well, and as always we love to hear from you in the comments!

Thanks for reading!


You can also find more information about Allison Ramsey, Empire Life Founder at Instagram, LinkedIn, Website, and Twitter

To learn more about getting started with Empire Life in in scaling your online empire, while decreasing the overwhelm and pressure, you can contact Allison, Founder of Empire Life, on Instagram and LinkedIn.


Remember, progress doesn’t happen overnight, but it DOES happen through consistent effort.

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