Talk on the Street
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Talk on the Street
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It is becoming more and more evident and accepted that being a successful entrepreneur in business has far less to do with whether you’re male or female and far more to do with your personality, your driving forces and your goals.
Research continues to show that there are both similarities and differences when looking at franchising and entrepreneurship from a gender perspective.
While franchising and entrepreneurship is currently a more male-dominated environment, this is changing and there is no difference in the success rates of male-run businesses and female-run businesses.
Favourable Male Stereotypes
Franchising and entrepreneurship tend to be viewed in a positive way as a masculine endeavour. The concepts of risk-taking, aggressiveness, drive, competitiveness, assertiveness and independence are stereotypically masculine traits that people associate with success in business.
While these stereotypes are not based totally in fact, they do have some influence on those of both genders undertaking entrepreneurial roles.
Lenders can tend to look more favourably on males looking for business finance over equally skilled, experienced and capable females.
“One of the most significant areas we see a difference based on gender when it comes to business is when entrepreneurs are looking to finance their new venture,” says Derek Cafferata, CEO and President of All State Franchise Finders, franchising experts based in Fort Worth TX. “When looking to finance a new franchise or business venture, it is vital you know where to go to get expert financial advice and lending.”
Men tend to view and voice entrepreneurialism in a more favourable light than females. Research carried out on gender differences in business found that men were more likely to describe themselves as entrepreneurs and express stronger intentions of becoming entrepreneurs. Women were less likely to describe themselves or their work as entrepreneurial, despite whether it actually was or not.
For this reason, many believe men are inclined to experience a greater level of social and family support in starting a new franchise or entrepreneurial venture.
So, what is it that motivates different people to become entrepreneurs?
Push and Pull Motivations
It is widely accepted that there are two driving forces that motivate people into becoming entrepreneurs. These are the “push” factors and the “pull” factors.
Push factors are those that push a person into pursuing an entrepreneurial endeavour like franchising. It may be the loss of a job, lack of movement forward in a career or within a company, divorce or other financial pressure to create increased or additional income. These push factors tend to be based on dissatisfaction or a need for change.
Pull factors are those that draw a person towards entrepreneurship. It is often something enticing that motivates the person, such as greater independence, increased income, embarking on a new product, or market opportunity. These pull factors are more likely to be positive factors, luring a person into entrepreneurship.
Men are more likely to be motivated by pull factors when moving into entrepreneurialism. Their reasons are often more externally focused, like an increase in income, the chance to create something new and unique, or advance their experience, skill and career. For many men, the motivation to move into franchising and entrepreneurship is a positive one.
Whereas women tend to be motivated by push factors, like divorce or financial pressure to create a job or earn an income, a desire to move beyond the current career restrictions, or even to achieve a sense of accomplishment and independence. These motivations tend to be negative ones.
“When working with potential franchise owners, finding out their motivation is very important to ensure they find the right franchise to suit their personal, financial and career goals,” says Derek, who has worked with hundreds of future franchise owners throughout his 30 years’ experience in the franchising industry.
Some Interesting Gender Differences
Research into the gender differences between male and female entrepreneurs shows a few interesting points of difference, in particular in the areas of management, cost efficiency and risk-taking.
Firstly, male and female entrepreneurs manage their businesses quite differently. Where women tend to value relationship with employees, men place more emphasis on the task at hand. Female franchisees and entrepreneurs are intuitive thinkers, they are excellent communicators and networkers. Male entrepreneurs tend to be logical thinkers who are task-oriented.
For men, cost efficiency is a key aspect of their business. Keeping costs down and focusing on increasing profit is where men generally focus a significant amount of attention. They are task oriented-based and can make decisions quickly. For females, the focus is on quality and the desire to make a social contribution. Management is based on creating good relationships with employees.
It makes sense to discover that male-dominated industries are those that offer products, like construction or manufacturing, while female-dominated industries are more service oriented and tend to be smaller in size.
When looking at risk tolerance, both male and female entrepreneurs are prepared to take risk. The stereotype that men are more willing to take on risk has more to do with how the risk is evaluated. While women tend to require more information processing the risk, men are more inclined to take a risk based on less information.
“For men in franchising and entrepreneurial roles, they tend to push their businesses forward rapidly,” says Derek. “With less information required regarding the potential risk, the faster decisions tend to be made.” This difference comes across as seeming to indicate that females take less risk than males. However, it actually indicates females simply move towards risk in a more controlled manner.
Derek believes that one way to view this difference is that men may be more willing to fail. While both male and female entrepreneurs prove time and again that they both equally take risk in business, females hold a more conservative view on failing than their male counterparts.
Franchising and entrepreneurship is a portion of the economy that continues to grow. According to the Small Business Administration, there are approximately 28.8 million small businesses in the United States, making up over 99 percent of all U.S. businesses. These small businesses employ more than half the country’s working population.
Looking at franchising and entrepreneurship from a gender perspective sheds light on some surprising similarities and some interesting differences. While these differences may come from stereotype or fact, it is true that, while men and women may go about their entrepreneurial business in different ways, they both reach the same potential for success.