Tips For Women’s Business Growth In 2014

Woman Using Laptop at HomeRetail Giants – Turn this competition into a partnership
Working hard to drive business to your own store or website is important but small business owners have to pay attention to opportunities and understand what it takes to become a player in the global supply chain. Bottom line, to compete in the marketplace you need to produce something that is new, better and different.

Know your financials and have solid financial goals
This is something many women tend to avoid. If you’re going to grow your business sustainably, you need to understand how your business is spending money. Know where every dollar goes, right down to the last dollar. You need to fully know where you’re going and what you need to achieve in each quarter. It’s important to understand profit.

Get Involved
There are lots of great resources and communities out there that provide opportunities to connect with other women small business owners in person. These groups provide important places to be heard, to share ideas, and find encouragement and support.

How to Apply For Small Business Grants For Women

indexStarting a small business requires start-up capital, planning and a vision for long-term success. Women are starting more businesses than ever, with a 20 percent growth in women-owned small businesses between 2002 and 2007. The Small Business Administration and other organizations want to ensure there is healthy economic growth from small business, so they often make grants or loans available to startups in certain sectors. Finding a grant can help you to start a business even if you are low on collateral or credit history. If you are a woman and you want to find money to help you start a business, there are a number of ways to research possible grants. Many of these grants correspond to specific industries and locations, so you will need to plan well in order to be chosen. Learn how to apply for small business grants for women.

Create a business plan. A business plan details the financial, managerial, production and marketing concerns for at least 5 years into the future. Ensure your business plan outlines all of the start-up costs and investment capital that is required to create a successful business.

Go to Grants.gov to find specific government grant applications. This website includes all government grant opportunities, so you may find grants that are not gender-specific, but you may qualify for them because of the type of business you own.

Read the grant information and grant applications thoroughly. You will need to ensure you qualify before you invest the time in applying. Request more information from the granting organization if you need it.

Send your application by mail or online before the deadline. You can apply for many government grants at grants.gov. If you apply by mail, make sure you make copies and send the application by certified mail.

Empowering Women Is Smart Economics

NOT long ago women faced tremendous barriers as they sought opportunities that would set them on an equal footing with men. Going back a mere quarter century, inequality between women and men was widely apparent—in university classrooms, in the workplace, and even in homes. Since then, the lives of women and girls around the world have improved dramatically in many respects. In most countries—rich and developing—they are going to school more, living longer, getting better jobs, and acquiring legal rights and protections.mulher_empreendedora

But large gender gaps remain. Women and girls are more likely to die, relative to men and boys, in many low- and middle-income countries than their counterparts in rich countries. Women earn less and are less economically productive than men almost everywhere across the world. And women have less opportunity to shape their lives and make decisions than do men.

According to the World Bank’s 2012 World Development Report: Gender Equality and Development, closing these gender gaps matters for development and policymaking. Greater gender equality can enhance economic productivity, improve development outcomes for the next generation, and make institutions and policies more representative.

Many gender disparities remain even as countries develop, which calls for sustained and focused public action. Corrective policies will yield substantial development payoffs if they focus on persistent gender inequalities that matter most for welfare. To be effective, these measures must target the root causes of inequality without ignoring the domestic political economy.
Mixed progress

Every aspect of gender equality—access to education and health, economic opportunities, and voice within households and society—has experienced a mixed pattern of change over the past quarter century. In some areas, such as education, the gender gap has closed for almost all women; but progress has been slower for those who are poor and face other disadvantages, such as ethnicity. In other areas, the gap has been slow to close—even among well-off women and in countries that have otherwise developed rapidly.

In primary education, the gender gap has closed in almost all countries, and it is shrinking quickly in secondary education. Indeed, in almost one-third of developing countries, girls now outnumber boys in secondary schools. There are more young women than men in universities in two-thirds of the countries for which there are data: women today represent 51 percent of the world’s university students (see Chart 1). Yet more than 35 million girls do not attend school in developing countries, compared with 31 million boys, and two-thirds of these girls are members of ethnic minorities.

To broaden women’s access to economic opportunity, thereby reducing male-female disparity in earnings and economic productivity, a combination of policies is called for. Solutions include freeing up women’s time so they can work outside the home—for example, through subsidized child care, as in Colombia; improving women’s access to credit, as in Bangladesh; and ensuring access to productive resources—especially land—as in Ethiopia, where joint land titles are now granted to wives and husbands. Addressing lack of information about women’s productivity in the workplace and eliminating institutional biases against women, for example by introducing quotas that favor women or job placement programs as in Jordan, will also open up economic opportunity to women.