Yesterday, March 8th, we celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD), a day to commemorate all that women have achieved. This annual observance continues to gain recognition around the world — and given the great strides women have made in recent years, the day is worth honoring.
Entrepreneurship is one area women have made considerable progress. According to the 2019 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report commissioned by American Express, the number of women-owned businesses increased 21%, while all other businesses only increased 9%. Additionally, the Fundera Women-Owned Businesses: Statistics and Overview (2021) report states that “there are 114% more women entrepreneurs than there were 20 years ago.” And these US women-owned businesses generate US $1.8 trillion a year.
Take a step back and consider these numbers. IWD is a day to recognize these achievements. At Alibaba.com, we want to highlight these female leaders who are paving the way in all different industries — from tech to food. See what these three female CEOs have to say about entrepreneurship in their discussions on Transformer Talks.
Linda Kozlowski, CEO of Blue Apron, speaks on broadening what it means to be a leader. Rather than focusing solely on the hard skills — data-driven decision making, analytics, and degrees of certification — we should expand leadership to include soft skills, like empathy and emotional intelligence.
Knowing your customer
Understanding your customer and knowing what they want is the most effective way to grow your business. Decisions should never be made without the customer in mind. Linda Yates, Founder and CEO of Mach49, explains that without knowing your customer, you are left with an uninformed opinion.
When Tracey Pickett, CEO of Hairbrella, couldn’t find a product to properly cover her hair in the rain, she set out on her entrepreneurial journey to make it herself. Two years, 60 prototypes, and US $60,000 later, Tracey brought Hairbrella to market. Despite the setbacks, Tracey persevered. Just last year, sales from the world’s first satin-lined rain hat that completely insulates hair from rain while protecting your style hit US $2.2 million.
This week's #B2BTuesday Tip:
You’re not alone building your business. There are thousands of fellow women building businesses ready to talk through your ideas, give advice, refer clients, and more. Find a mentor or join groups for women entrepreneurs and start networking.