Nowadays more and more young women are becoming entrepreneurs and starting their own business in order to fulfill their dreams and be satisfied with their lives.
According to dictionary.com, an entrepreneur is, “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.” An entrepreneur finds a need in the market, has an idea, designs the business solution and invests on it.
I feel a lot of people imagine a man when they hear the word entrepreneur, but the truth is more and more women, and especially young women, are starting their own companies. Women have the capacity of taking risks, designing, creating and managing businesses. We have been underestimated for years, unfortunately it still continues in the work environment, but hopefully this situation will change due to the amazing work women are doing.
Reasons Why Young Women Become Entrepreneurs
In my opinion, some of the reasons why young women are becoming entrepreneurs are:
- Dreams: it can be hard to follow your dreams while being someone else’s employee. If you want to pursue a specific career, you often need to start on your own and become your own boss.
- Freedom: making your own decisions, deciding your working schedule, changing and improving your own business, and following your values is a great feeling!
- Passion and love: when you work for yourself and do what you want, you can do things with passion and love. With just a small drop of passion, anyone can achieve anything. It is possible to have better performance results, create amazing products or develop something big. Then, when we add love, we get the perfect result.
- Challenge: some people need to challenge themselves and often they find this difficult to do in the corporate environment. To pursue your personal goals and challenges, we often need to set off in the direction that is best for us.
Right now I can also consider myself an entrepreneur. Not long ago, I realized I wasn’t earning enough to survive comfortably in Istanbul with my 9-5 job, so my option at that moment was to freelance. I got my first client shortly after, and ever since I have been working on growing my small digital marketing business. I do this job with love and passion and, at the same time, it is a challenge to myself to continue learning.
I first set up my own brand and I started promoting my digital marketing services. The two main reasons I stay in this field are: I want to be free to travel and change my “office” every few days or weeks. The second being to be able to develop my skills and creativity in doing what I really like.
I have always been someone’s’ employee since I finished my Bachelor’s Degree. I worked as an administrative assistant, receptionist, tourist office agent, tourist guide, Spanish teacher and team manager at a startup company. In most of the jobs, I felt I couldn’t develop my creativity, propose changes, share ideas or improve the tasks. Furthermore, in some of my jobs, I was asked to do things against my values, which caused me great stress. How would you feel if you had to “hide” the truth to a client? In one of my jobs, I was asked this several times and I felt like the worst person on the earth. How could I be enjoying my life like this?
The feeling I get from the successful content I create, the beautiful websites I am able to design or each article I publish on digital media, gives me more strength to continue on my path. Of course, I have a lot of fears, and sometimes the fears are so large they are like a cloud that begins to block out the sunshine. But at those moments, I have to remind myself that I am following my dream. As I am becoming a digital nomad, some fears are: Where will I be next week? Will I be comfortable? Will I like it? I think these are the fears of combining working and traveling. But I am finding my own way to be in peace and overcome them and grow as a person and as an entrepreneur.
Examples of Entrepreneur Women
As I did in my former article, I am going to share the experiences of other young women entrepreneurs around the world. All these women came from very different places on earth, have different backgrounds and ideas, but are all strong souls who fight for their dreams.
Alexandra Ryan: Founder of an Art Business for Children in Istanbul
I would need 20 articles in order to explain Alexandra’s business, life and capacities. I first met Alexandra in Istanbul where we lived as roommates, and over the years we grew to be very close friends.
Alexandra studied Modern Literature and English at the University of California Santa Cruz. She started teaching English, primarily in kindergartens, as a way of traveling and living in different countries. She has taught and lived in Thailand, Japan and now resides in Istanbul, Turkey. She is passionate about art and nature and in my opinion, she paints some of the most amazing and original watercolor pictures. Her style is so unique and beautiful, just like her.
In Istanbul, she works as a kindergarten teacher in an international school. She loves her job but, felt that she was missing something extra in her day and wanted to do something that she could call her own. She wanted to find a way to focus primarily on art education with children, as this is her first passion. She saw art as the perfect medium to engage children in a fun and creative way to both explore their artistic side as well as develop their skills in English. What started with a “simple” idea, finally has a real name, Aloe Vera Art. She provides workshops which mix art, culture and nature to foster creativity in a child’s life.
During her workshops, children from various cultures learn and practice different techniques, while speaking English. She has been fortunate enough to work and create with many different kids and families, from all corners of the world, which makes her very grateful and happy. She gets a lot of positive feedback and her business has grown so quickly that she often finds she is left with little free personal time. However, she is grateful for this growth, because it means she has met the needs of the people around her, and she has their support in working with their children.
Of course, she has fears. The fear to not be able to continue this work if she moves back to America or to lose contact with the many different and amazing families she works with. She feels if she moves from Istanbul, she will have to leave behind Aloe Vera in this amazing Turkish city.
Her advice, especially to entrepreneur women, is, “Go for it! If you have a passion, live it! It may sound cliché, but we just have one life. If you believe in a dream and are passionate about it, you won’t fail.” She believes if what you create comes from love and with good intentions, people will be drawn to you. She also adds, “Make sure it is your primary and main job. Pursing your dream while working a second full time position can be exhausting. Sometimes we need the financial security of the first job to keep us balanced as we pursue our dream, but if you can take the leap and immerse yourself completely, you will see the biggest results.”
Ari Soler: Baker in Artés (Barcelona)
Ari is a good friend from years ago as we were born and raised in the same village, Artés (Barcelona). She first decided to focus her career on product design and during her studies was working at a bakery. During this period, she realized she enjoyed the work at the bakery more than what she was studying.
Three years ago, with a partner, she decided to open a pastry shop-cafe in Artés: Pessics Pastisseria. In the pastry shop, cakes, pastry and sweets are made with ecologic products and are suitable for people with food intolerance, which wasn’t offered previously in the village. Starting a new business is scary, but as they were two people, she felt more secure and confident, then a little over a year ago her partner left and she had to face everything by herself.
One of the biggest fears for Ari is that work will consume time from her personal life. Nonetheless, she is fighting her fears and is very proud of what she has reached so far. She has less free time but she is getting great results from her hard work.
A few months ago, Pessics Pastisseria moved to a bigger and more central location in the village and now has four employees. She is very happy and very fulfilled with her job but sometimes she feels tired as she has to work a lot of hours, especially during holiday season. She would like to continue working in order to have a more stable business, so she will be able to have a more relaxed lifestyle in the coming years.
She also adds, “being an entrepreneur woman is a daily fight which never stops. Life changes as soon as you start your own business and maybe priorities in life will be very different than they were before.” But she doesn’t give up and she wants any woman who has a dream, to be strong and follow it.
Ruba: hostel management in Sri Lanka
Ruba and I met in Weligama, Sri Lanka, just a few weeks ago. When she told me she was starting her own accommodation business, I knew I wanted to share her story in my article.
Ruba is twenty-seven years old and from Lebanon. She was working six years in Dubai in the corporate world where she improved her skills and learned a lot, but also went through the hardest days of her life. It was during this period when she realized her purpose in life was not to be in Dubai and not to work for a corporation.
One day, her sister asked her, “When was the list time you were happy?”. When she tried to find the answer to the question, she went back to her days working in a jazz bar, De Prague, in Beirut while in university. Also, Sri Lanka was on her mind, as this was her escape when she was not having the will to start her days with a smile. She made the decision to quit her job in Dubai, and return to Lebanon to plan on how to open a guest house in the south of Sri Lanka. At the moment she is getting ready for the new season, which starts in October, preparing the Island Sisters Guest House in Weligama.
Making such a big change in life is not easy, and for Ruba she had to face the fear of leaving a “stable” life in the corporate world and face the doubts of her own capacities. But the more as she gets involved with her business, these fears start to fade away and she becomes stronger.
Her advice for other young women entrepreneurs would be to find your own passion and making it your main purpose in your life, so you can be satisfied and happy. Once you understand this, you can do magic!
Is it Hard to Become an Entrepreneur as a Woman?
It depends on many factors. It depends on the business field, your personal expectations, the location the economy, and so on. Every business, like every person, is different. Of course, as have read, it is not easy to become an entrepreneur as there are always many fears. But when we can identify and understand them, it is easier to overcome and become stronger in achieving our goals.
In my opinion, becoming an entrepreneur is one of the most rewarding experiences in life. And I feel Alexandra, Ari and Ruba think the same. Of course some problems will occur, but if you are following your own dreams, the happiness and satisfaction will outweigh the security you received from a job that was unfulfilling and left you unhappy.
I hope this article will be personally helpful for any person who is thinking to start their own business!