Women entrepreneurs find themselves dealing with several challenges their male counterparts do not.
Although the numbers show that women are starting more businesses each year, these businesses do not experience the same growth rate as those led by men.
In addition, women-owned businesses do not receive as much funding as those owned by men. These only show that there remains a gender gap in the business world, one that can only be filled in by women entrepreneurs themselves.
Women Business Owner Statistics
Recent statistics from the National Women’s Business Council show positive news about women-led businesses. It’s interesting to learn that there were only 4 million women-owned businesses in the US 30 years ago compared to 11 million today.
The number of women-led businesses has also grown by 45 per cent between 2007 and 2016, a rate that’s 5 times faster than the national average. Also, women of color account for 78 per cent of new women-owned businesses.
These numbers look fantastic, but only on the surface. Data further show that in 40 per cent of households, women are the sole source of income.
However, the gender gap continues to be glaring. In fact, a survey shows that most women who start a business do so because of employment limitations. It’s clear that women are still not treated equally as men in the workplace. These are the very obstacles that Kumari Fulbright wants to put an end to.
Mentorship for Women Entrepreneurs
Kumari Fulbright is a self-made entrepreneur who now aims to help other women succeed in their own business ventures. She explains that many women suffer because of the gender pay gap. Women entering the workforce right after graduating from college make only 90 per cent of what their male counterparts do. Kumari says that there’s no valid reason to justify this gap, yet women suffer from other issues as well.
It’s harder for them to get a raise or be promoted to executive roles. All this prompts many women to feel frustrated about their job.
Another issue facing women in business is access to funding. Citing data from NWBC, Kumari says that women only received 2 per cent of investor and venture capital funding in 2016. Perhaps this shows a lack of trust in the business management skills of women, regardless of what their credentials and experiences say.
Without adequate funding, it proves difficult for any startup company to operate optimally. In fact, it’s the biggest reason why new businesses end up failing within the first year of starting. Although there are avenues through which women have been seen to have an advantage over men such as crowdfunding, these alternatives might still be inefficient for gathering the money needed to start a business.
Kumari also believes that one of the biggest obstacles facing women entrepreneurs is lack of role models and mentors. This is precisely the reason why she founded The Freedom Initiative Project, a not-for-profit organization focused on helping women become independent after dealing with rough patches in their lives.
The Freedom Initiative Project offers support and guidance to women who do not feel confident in their abilities to operate a business. Kumari has personally dealt with women going through transition and dislocation, teaching them how to start with the basics and eventually master their craft. She believes that every woman can achieve a lot in their life, but many aren’t given the opportunity to be in a position to achieve greatness.
By being a positive role model to aspiring women entrepreneurs, Kumari wants to light a fire in those looking up to her, encouraging them to take action instead of wasting their time worrying too much about what other people think. Kumari has helped countless people throughout her life, both children and adults. All this can be attributed to the upbringing by her parents, introducing her to a life of community service since she was a kid.
The Impact of Family on Success in Life
Kumari has the kind of family that many people would envy. She is very close to her parents and siblings. She says that even her aunts are close to her as if they were best friends. With her family always supporting her, Kumari knows that it is the driving force behind everything she has achieved over the years. This is what she wants other women to feel, that there are other people to lean on no matter how tough life becomes.
By creating a family within her organization, Kumari helps women achieve their goals in a way they didn’t know possible. Although society in general still has a long way to go in treating men and women equally in all aspects, Kumari believes that she can contribute to the cause by speaking up and being a voice for other women. It’s a matter of getting the right kind of support to inspire women to start their entrepreneurial careers and face any other challenges in their lives.
The Freedom Initiative Project is still young, although it’s picking up speed over the past few months. With numerous awareness campaigns across the country, more and more people are learning about its mission of helping women deal with their problems with the support of those around them.
The organization continues to increase its number of members, and the trend doesn’t seem to be disappearing anytime soon. If you want to learn more about the project, take the time to visit freedom initiative project.
Aside from leading the Freedom Initiative Project, Kumari Fulbright has a lot of other things on her plate. She remains a successful entrepreneur but has also dabbled in screenwriting recently. In fact, she’s working on two television series in a partnership with Aloris Entertainment. After receiving interest from Netflix, Kumari now works on the pilot.
It’s amazing how Kumari has managed to be successful in everything she does. This highlights the fact that any women can work toward her goals. Kumari Fulbright continues to lead by example, and she won’t stop inspiring other women to lead a life they forge on their own. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter for her latest ventures.