For generations, women were ignored in the world of business. They were expected to be secretaries and nurses, and even the brightest ideas were met with scepticism by the male-dominated entrepreneurs who set the rules.

Luckily, times have changed. Women are starting businesses and having more influence as they take on challenges that call for a softer touch, as well as those that have traditionally been tasked to men.

The rise of female entrepreneurs is no coincidence. Women tend to be more intuitive and collected than men, and that’s just the beginning. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or looking to empower women in the workplace, here are some ways that you can be more representative – and successful as a result.

Insight and Intuition

A key to business success is the ability to see a need and find a gap in the market. Female entrepreneurs have a knack for turning their intuition into success. They can empathise with the market and turn shared problems into products and solutions.

A prime example is the growth of the mom-and-baby market. Accessories and products for moms, and by moms, are the result of women who build businesses based on their own experiences.

This is insight that is guided by intuition and understanding. Unlike men, women can mix their feelings with the business instinct needed to identify a potential opportunity. This immediately gives women an edge – unlike men who base their business choices on data or instinct alone, women match their instincts with ideas that work.

Thought-starter: If you have a business idea, then run it by a group of friends. They can give you honest feedback about the viability of your plan, which can guide you in pursuing opportunities.

Drive diversity

Any business that is dominated by one gender is going to suffer from a narrow approach to problem-solving.

As a business owner, it’s important that you encourage diverse discussions and employ people with different backgrounds and opinions. The secret is respect, let everyone have their say, and you will be amazed at the scope and quality of the solutions that your team comes up with.

Hiring a diverse team is not only important for business, it’s also important that you adhere to government regulations to avoid penalties.

Thought-starter: Always follow government guidelines when hiring your team. The ratio and requirements are set up to improve your business and help the country encourage entrepreneurship.

Rise of the role model

As more female entrepreneurs find success, they become an inspiration to a generation of girls looking to reach their business goals.

The brave women who took a leap and started companies are now handing down the tools, lessons and wisdom needed to prepare a new generation of great businesswomen.

At Merchant Capital, we know that few things are as important as mentorship. Find a role model and make the time to learn from them. Attend talks, buy their books, and reach out to them for advice.

Build your business acumen on the lessons learnt by leaders who have gone before you, and you will already be on the front foot.

Thought-starter: Look for opportunities to connect with businesswomen. Whether it’s an interview or an internship, spending time with someone who can inspire and guide you is essential to your success.

We can all learn from the great female entrepreneurs who are carving out a name for themselves in the modern market. Take the time to celebrate them, but make sure that you take their lessons to heart. And remember, there’s nothing that can stand in your way once you have decided to succeed.

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