As the host of The Small Biz Brunch podcast, I’ve interviewed some amazing entrepreneurs and CPAs who are changing the world. When I reflect on episodes I’ve recorded over the past six months, some of my favorite have been about women disrupting their industries and paving the way for future generations. And while it’s important to celebrate female entrepreneurs throughout the year, Women’s History Month provides a timely platform for important conversations.
I recently chatted with Lindsay Stevenson, CPA, CGMA, founder of Origin Evolution and Rachel McGirt, co-founder of Healthy Girls Save the World, a program for middle school girls that promotes “healthy bodies, healthy minds and healthy relationships.” We discussed financial challenges specific to female entrepreneurs (for example, how to get funding), and ways to overcome them. Here are the top two tips Stevenson and McGirt provided.
Capitalize on your relationships
Phrases like “empowered women empower women,” and “women supporting other women,” are everywhere. Facebook, Instagram, coffee mugs – you name it. We’ve all heard them and may have even said them out loud; now it’s time to practice what we preach. Building a network with trusted relationships is key to growing a business, especially on the financial side. McGirt encourages aspiring female entrepreneurs to seek out local resources. Whether it’s a startup group on a university campus or donations from a local church, there are people who want to help others make an impact within their communities and might be willing to invest money in the cause.
Another suggestion for female entrepreneurs is to form a relationship with their CPA. A CPA is a great example of someone who can provide financial guidance in the form of a genuine relationship. Not only can they walk their clients through the ups and downs of business, but as Stevenson mentions during our conversation, CPAs care about them as human beings and want to help them achieve their goals.
Own your accomplishments
Many women tend to worry about coming off as overconfident, or like they’re over-hyping their success. However, confidence is necessary in order to get the funding or investments needed to jumpstart and sustain a business. According to Stevenson, female entrepreneurs should be able to stand in front of potential investors and own the fact that they know what they’re doing, no matter how uncomfortable it might feel. One suggestion she offers is to speak to yourself how you would speak to others. Instead of beating yourself up, build yourself up, just as you would another female entrepreneur who was seeking your advice for the same situation.
Listen to the entire episode to hear more helpful tips for current and aspiring female entrepreneurs. And for more information on how CPAs can help grow small businesses, visit cpapowered.org.
Samantha Delgado, Manager – Communications, PR & Corporate Responsibility, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants
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Originally published by AICPA.org