Go-to-Market Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs

Cover of Go-to-Market Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs

Creating and Exploring Success

Synopsis

Table of contents

(27 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xv
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Part I Success Stories of Women Entrepreneurs

Abstract

This chapter explores the attributes that made Mary Kay Ash a global success – attributes that helped her build a global cosmetics empire at a time when strong, successful female entrepreneurs were almost unheard of. Mary Kay’s can-do spirit led her to create a company that enriched – and continues to enrich – millions of women’s lives around the globe. Her example, her teachings, her legacy live on today, and that legacy has inspired countless entrepreneurs, leaders, and business students. The qualities she exhibited remain an important part of Mary Kay’s legacy: imagination, passion, determination, integrity, courage, and compassion. Although those qualities were innate in Mary Kay, they resonate today as guidelines for others to follow in shaping their own careers – or their own empires. Mary Kay’s path was never easy, but she met every challenge she faced with grit and determination. Because she shaped her own path against all odds in a way that was uniquely her own, those who study her methods today can benefit from the examples she set, and her footsteps can lead others on their way to a rich, rewarding future.

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Amelia Ceja is the president and CEO of Ceja Vineyards. Amelia grew Ceja Vineyards from a fledgling company producing only 750 cases annually to a well-respected winery, with wines that were served at the inauguration of President Barack Obama and wines that are served at top restaurants all over the world, including the three-Michelin-star restaurant French Laundry. The chapter presents a comprehensive overview of how one woman with a strong vision for success, motivated by perseverance and hard work, used familia, mentorship, customer knowledge, and flexibility as her go-to-market keys to success.

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I met Anita Roddick in the early 1990s. I was a PhD student and her talk was so impactful that I clearly remember our interaction to this day. I enjoyed hearing her talk about her inspiration for “The Body Shop” and how she stayed true to herself in creating her company – a company based on her strengths, values, and how she would want to be treated by a business. She shared stories about her family and her travels to source new products. In her talk, she described how she translated her personal values into The Body Shop’s vision, mission, and values. She created The Body Shop to do good in the world through sustainability, corporate social responsibility, ethical decision-making, and delivering products sourced from natural ingredients. These terms are familiar to us today, but they were not common in 1976 when The Body Shop launched. This chapter explores the strengths and personal values Roddick used to create The Body Shop.

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In this chapter, we focus on three-time Emmy Award winner Faith Salie, who is a writer, performer, commentator, actor, and journalist. We illustrate Salie’s successful entrepreneurship with regard to her personal brand. Salie details the obstacles and challenges to her success, as well as how entrepreneurship is different when the brand you are promoting is your own. Four strategies for an entrepreneur whose personal brand is her marketplace product are described.

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Part II Gender Diversity Driving Innovation

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Innovation drives new product development, novel approaches to our professional and personal lives, and entrepreneurial activity in our communities. Women entrepreneurs are increasing in numbers and are becoming more visible across myriad domains. A growing number of scholars are focusing on better understanding women entrepreneurs’ unique approach to developing an entrepreneurial enterprise. However, the research suggests that entrepreneurship is still (mis)perceived as being traditionally masculine, with the number of men outnumbering the number of women entrepreneurs. Using a model of innovation consisting of the three distinct tasks of idea generation, idea promotion, and idea realization (Janssen, 2000; Scott & Bruce, 1994), this chapter explores the influence of gender on these various domains, followed by suggestions for future research and practical implications for women entrepreneurs today.

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Institutional support at local, state, and national levels, including the services offered by business incubators, impacts women entrepreneurs’ venture creation and success. Yet, our understanding about the influence of an incubator’s attributes on women entrepreneurship remains limited. In this chapter, we develop a framework to analyze how incubator attributes encourage women’s entrepreneurship in the USA. We begin by discussing how homophily and signaling theories can help us understand whether incubators are using inclusive practices. Then, we draw a sample of 30 Impact Award winners from the International Business Incubation Association (InBIA), a global association of incubators, and we use three sources of data for our analysis and conclusions: incubator features and demographics, mission statements, and media coverage from Nexis Uni. Based on our findings, we find low levels of gender inclusive practices among the most impactful business incubators. We conclude by offering suggested practices to make business incubators more inclusive of women entrepreneurs.

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The number of women entrepreneurs has grown substantially over the last decade; however, there is still a gender gap in terms of access to capital, business size, and revenue. Women have weaker social networks and are less likely to receive funding, often facing discrimination in their attempts. As a result, most women entrepreneurs have fewer resources than men, making it harder for them to succeed in their new ventures. This chapter discusses how using social media can help women grow their social capital to improve access to funding, potential customers, and mentors – helping to shatter the entrepreneurial glass ceiling.

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This chapter compares and contrasts the application of cognitive ambidexterity by women entrepreneurs in Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, and the United States of America. It focuses on how women entrepreneurs exhibit entrepreneurial leadership during first customer acquisitions. Analysis of interview data showed that the reasons for venture creation, the choice of venture, and the environmental context faced by women entrepreneurs influence the relative emphasis placed on prediction logic and creation logic. While women entrepreneurs in Kenya, Mexico, and Nigeria thrive with creation logic, those in the USA place more emphasis on prediction logic but cycle between both logics to enhance selling to early customers.

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Did you hear the story about the successful entrepreneur who got her start on a college campus? With women making up the majority of students on university campuses in the United States, but the minority of entrepreneurship students, it is certainly exciting to hear these success stories. In attempting to grow the number of women in such programs, it is important to understand the factors in the college experience that contribute to the success of such students. Told through the lens of three successful recent alumnae, this chapter explores the experiences of women entrepreneurship students. The factors attributed to their success include classroom and extracurricular programs, community resources, and inspirational mentoring from faculty and peers.

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This chapter reports the results of an empirical study on the “gender–performance gap,” the alleged difference in business performance between firms started or owned by females and males. Although numerous studies have compared the business performance of firms started by or owned by female and male entrepreneurs, most research to date has employed financial performance metrics and has often produced inconsistent results. The present research compared gender-based business performance by examining self-perceptions of a large sample of female and male Black and Mexican-American entrepreneurs. As such, the present study overcame several limitations of prior gender–performance gap research and addressed entrepreneurial groups seldom studied. While there were no perceptual differences between female and male entrepreneurs surveyed regarding the performance of their respective businesses, Mexican-American entrepreneurs surveyed perceived the performance of their business as being better than Black entrepreneurs surveyed, and this result held for both females and males. Findings from the study provide insights into the perceptions held by Black and Mexican-American female and male entrepreneurs and provide a context for further race and gender studies.

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Part III Hurdles in Global Markets

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Across the globe, the increasing exploration of women entrepreneurship as an emerging phenomenon has resulted in growing lines of examination that extend across the motivations, challenges, contributions, and strategies for navigating the entrepreneurial space. Despite such advancements in the field, the effects of gender and motherhood on entrepreneurship remain highly under-theorized and under-contextualized, with little appreciation of the spatial and situational realities that they confront. Such is the case for the Caribbean where women and mothers are increasingly entering into entrepreneurship, but where their realities are yet to be understood. In this chapter, we therefore make a case for the use of contextual theorizations that focus on the structural, historical, and cultural aspects of entrepreneurship, and the implications of these for the thinking and action of women entrepreneurs and mumpreneurs in the region. Implications for entrepreneurial research, policy, and practices in the Caribbean are also discussed.

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South Africa is one of the most unequal societies in the world with women substantially less likely to be economically active than men. This chapter draws from the theory of planned behavior to examine the enablers and barriers to entrepreneurship in South Africa. Specifically, we examine how attitude toward entrepreneurship, subjective norms in the South African collectivist culture, and behavioral controls of resources influence women’s intentions to start a business. Based on interviews with two successful women entrepreneurs in South Africa, we highlight the key role that government, self-efficacy, and technology-based platforms can have in establishing women’s entrepreneurial intentions.

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As Hispanic American women’s businesses continue to grow in the USA, there is a greater need to understand success factors relevant to these women entrepreneurs. In this chapter, I explore the market access and reach of Hispanic American women entrepreneurs. In doing this, I take into consideration issues of (1) collectivist orientation, (2) level of acculturation, and (3) social network size and composition (strong versus weak ties). The various combinations of these issues enable go-to-market strategies that will likely need to be customized to meet the needs of different groups of Hispanic and non-Hispanic consumers.

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Changing cultural dynamics, gender equality, education, and technology have contributed to women empowerment. Additionally, the use of Internet and social media platforms by businesses at various stages in the business life cycle is on the rise. Despite this, women entrepreneurs in developing countries are less inclined than their male counterparts toward using online mediums for their businesses. Findings from personal interviews with 20 Indian women entrepreneurs indicate that Indian women are low on social self-efficacy when interacting through online platforms, especially for business purposes. The chapter discusses the reasons behind low social self-efficacy on online mediums and how this can be improved.

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This exploratory research examines the effect of motivational factors on the firm performance of women entrepreneurs in Lebanon. An interview questionnaire was used to collect data from 110 women entrepreneurs. Findings of the multiple regression model indicated three women entrepreneurial motivations (internal locus of control, self-efficacy, and financial success) were positively related to firm performance. Other entrepreneurial motivations that were explored (need for achievement, desire for independence, and passion) appeared to have no significant positive relation with firm performance. Generally, this exploratory research suggests that theories regarding women entrepreneurship derived from developed countries should be examined carefully before being used in developing country settings like Lebanon.

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Part IV Disruption Ripe Sectors

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The aging world population provides a unique opportunity for women and entrepreneurs to shape their long-lived futures. Women control the purchasing power and healthcare decisions in most families and, over the next few decades, will control most of the world’s wealth. Entrepreneurs will continue to create new platforms, products, and services for the two billion people who will reach age 60 by 2050. Yet, the future is not without challenges. Most products and services are designed around the family and the expectation that family members will be involved, even remotely, with the care of aging relatives. Family caregiving strains careers, health, and savings; planning for longevity is no longer an option but a necessity. The chapter provides rich detail about current innovators in the healthcare and eldercare ecosystems and offers specific guidance for navigating the aging journey successfully. Importantly, it highlights the role of women as entrepreneurs and innovative leaders in the longevity economy.

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Women are becoming more and more visible in family firms. They appear to be the adhesive that bonds the family together and may, therefore, help explain why some families are a key source of strength for their business while others struggle to maintain family harmony and business success. Yet, these women face many challenges in working for their family’s business. In this chapter, we offer a brief review of the literature as related to the historical perspectives in terms of CEO wives and daughters and concerns about primogeniture. We conclude with a discussion on progress and capture the experiences of women working in their family’s business.

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Direct selling was founded on the philosophy of coaching people on how to successfully build a business from the ground up, and women comprise a large percentage of these direct selling entrepreneurs. In this chapter, we highlight the empowering benefits of direct selling. First, we focus on women micro-entrepreneurs who want to build their own small businesses, but on a limited scale while maintaining flexible schedules and work-life satisfaction. These women can benefit from the direct selling opportunity in terms of capitalization, formal structures, mentoring, income, self-efficacy, social capital, and life skills. Second, we profile women entrepreneurs who are building their own product organizations and have chosen direct selling as a go-to-market strategy for access to consumers. Three consistent attributes observed across these women are authenticity, affective commitment, and passion.

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The shopping and consumption habits of consumers in industrialized countries are leading causes of environmental degradation. There are many women entrepreneurs stepping up to the challenge of changing our purchasing habits to begin to repair the damaging effects of decades of frivolous consumption. This chapter highlights several young women entrepreneurs who are creating unique retail experiences in apparel, beauty, and fashion products and changing the way customers feel about sustainability.

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Part V Investing in Women

Abstract

SheEO, established in 2015, is a new ecosystem empowering female entrepreneurs with funding, advice, and support. Based on the philosophy of Radical Generosity, and in four countries with plans to go global in the next decade, SheEO Ventures are crowd-funded and crowd-selected by women and focus on social impact to improve lives and change the world. Early results demonstrate the model’s effectiveness, both financially and in terms of social impact, as well as its global potential.

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Why do women’s ambitions wane? After an historic 50-year climb to unprecedented educational and career heights, many best-selling books, viral articles, and research studies are telling us that the aspirations and confidence of today’s women often abate. These readings offer explanations such as workplace biases and family responsibilities for the ebb of ambition; yet, all fail to identify the underlying unifying problem that explains choices women make to step off the upward fast tracks in favor of different work and life paths. The problem is that the workplace is not a reliable site of recognition for women. Without the positive feedback of appropriate recognition from an appreciative community, women’s ambitions and the intensity with which they are pursued tilt elsewhere. Women’s movement into and embrace of entrepreneurship provide a clear illustration of one way women are designing the workplace to support the maintenance of their ambitions.

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Globally, the number of women entrepreneurs lags behind the number of men. Understanding how women entrepreneurs can be developed and fostered remains an open avenue of inquiry. One particular area of consideration is the role of other women in supporting and sustaining women’s entrepreneurship. Using social identity theory for our framing, we utilize in-person interviews with various women entrepreneurs across a range of global settings (urban Hong Kong, Singapore, United Kingdom, and rural India) to focus on understanding the roles of other women as they relate to entrepreneurship. Across settings, we found that women entrepreneurs identified four key roles that other women played in developing their ventures. Furthermore, certain roles, such as having a female role model, were critical in rural settings over urban settings. We thus consider the implications of having other women for women’s entrepreneurship broadly.

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Too often, we take for granted first impressions and how others perceive us; however, such perceptions frequently form the basis for entrepreneurial success. Your personal brand is bound to exist – whether you create it explicitly or whether it is created implicitly for you. As we grow our businesses as entrepreneurs, brand equity (the market valuation of a brand) becomes our greatest asset. This chapter will explain the value of a personal brand promise, demonstrate how to create a perfect pitch narrative, and examine tools such as LinkedIn and YouTube that can be leveraged to achieve professional success.

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The identification, access, and acquisition of financial resources are critical to the growth of any entrepreneurial venture. To perform better, growth-oriented women entrepreneurs need financial resources. Unfortunately, obtaining financial resources is a greater obstacle for women entrepreneurs than for men entrepreneurs. This chapter considers three different options for growth financing: crowdfunding, angel financing, and venture capital. Suggested strategies for women entrepreneurs seeking to raise money are also offered.

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Index

Pages 283-294
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Cover of Go-to-Market Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs
DOI
10.1108/9781789732894
Publication date
2019-09-06
Editor
ISBN
978-1-78973-289-4