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Report: Women Entrepreneurs Outline Challenges, Successes

Inc. Magazine reports: “Starting any fast-growing business is difficult. Starting one while female, as the flood of headlines about sexism and VC funding shortfalls illustrates, can seem nearly impossible. To fully understand the female entrepreneurial experience in 2018, Inc. and our sister publication, Fast Company, asked women who have started all kinds of companies just how they do it. It turns out, the 279 respondents of our first State of Women and Entrepreneurship survey have faced virtually every challenge. But one thing is clear: Nothing is going to get in the way of their ambition.”

Challenges Faced By Women Entrepreneurs

Getting the money to get your ideas off the ground is often the most difficult part of starting a business. Any entrepreneur has to face the reality of asking for the money they need to accomplish their goal.

According to the survey, 62% of women who seek funding have experienced bias while fundraising, and over half experienced discrimination or harassment. Yet, on the whole, most women chose not to take any official action on these experiences, choosing instead to sever relationships with investors, vendors, and others who treated them inappropriately or unfairly.

Some women sought out only female investors, both to support female investing and to be taken more seriously themselves. Other women entrepreneurs funded their startups out of their savings. More than a third of women entrepreneurs surveyed said that they needed over $100,000 to get their business started, which makes funding a startup from your savings an impressively heavy lift.

Where Women Start Businesses

Busy, diverse cities may offer women more opportunities. 

Just as some cities are friendlier to different types of businesses, some cities are a better bet for women founders.

According to the survey, New York City ranks high on the list of places for female founders to find success. The city houses 17 Inc. 5000 companies that are owned by women. However, NYC isn’t the only option for women entrepreneurs. Los Angeles, Atlanta, Austin, and San Francisco also rank high in their concentration of successful female-owned businesses, showing that women do well in big, thriving cities that value diversity.