Ladies' Launchpad / Kathy McShane
I normally take advantage of this column to give advice to women entrepreneurs. This one is different because I found out that a large number of men read this column. I am flattered and actually a little surprised.
I wanted to write for all the women out there who read this, but also for the men. You men may have daughters, wives, granddaughters or daughters-in-law who are or want to be entrepreneurs, so you may want to gain some insight into what they are doing for society.
It might be obvious to some of us that when an entrepreneur starts a business it helps the economy. I believe that women entrepreneurs will help to turn the economy around, so this is a good thing.
In addition to helping the economy, study after study shows that female entrepreneurs give in more ways than this. Most women create businesses with economic and social goals. They really do want the workplace to serve as a place to make money and to care about societal issues.
In addition to creating thriving businesses, women entrepreneurs support their communities as mentors, volunteers, patrons and civic leaders. Women entrepreneurs tend to buy locally, hire locally and support local charities. They also become role models for other women and, I believe, for young men. Women tend to reinvest their profits into their companies and use the funds to develop training and development programs for employees or hire paid interns.
They also manage and treat their employees differently. They are concerned about creating a workplace where people can thrive and feel like they are making a contribution. They tend not to look at their business as a machine, but instead as a living, breathing entity where employees are seen as people. They create a community that understands that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.
So, yes, women may see themselves as entrepreneurs and start a business. But what they are really starting is a lifestyle that affects a large number of people. As business owners, women are choosing to redefine success by serving people and the planet while building wealth.
Kathy McShane is managing director of Ladies Who Launch, Connecticut. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or ladieswholaunch.com/southwestct.