It's time to close the funding gap and open more women-owned small businesses.
As of 2019, there were more than 13 million women-owned businesses (including sole proprietorships and employer firms). That sounds like a lot, right? But when you compare it to the number of men-owned businesses, it's clear that there's still a long way to go to achieve gender parity in entrepreneurship.
So let's close the funding gap and give women-owned businesses the boost they need to thrive.
Here are some industries that are expected to grow in the next few years. If you're looking to start a small business, these might be some good options to consider.
Data is an asset and our online lives are here to stay, so it's important to have solid methods for protecting our online identities. No wonder cybersecurity is such a hot topic—and one that women can help develop and grow.
There's been a huge surge in demand for delivery services since the pandemic started. Everyone's been stuck at home and they want their stuff brought to them. It's a boring business, but it's become incredibly profitable.
The delivery-services industry is booming and is expected to continue growing exponentially. The food delivery industry is expected to reach $320 billion by 2029.
Fintech is all about making mobile banking, peer-to-peer payments, and even contactless checkout at the grocery store possible. It's focused on helping the financially underserved and expanding its reach even further. With more and more users getting accustomed to these technologies, fintech is poised to make even bigger waves in the future.
The fitness industry has been forced to make a dramatic change since the pandemic started, with gyms, yoga studios, and other exercise facilities temporarily shutting down to in-person clients. This has led to an unprecedented rise in Peloton sales (and then a fall), as well as numerous other businesses.
No matter what industry you're in, you and your employees are facing new challenges as offices pivot between remote, in-person, and hybrid work. And with the pandemic still raging, hiring is more complex than ever. That's why there's an increased demand for human resources personnel.
Mental health specialists are in short supply nationally, and the demand for their services is growing, creating a widening gap that is frustrating but also presents great opportunities for small businesses. On average, countries spend only 2% of their health budget on mental health initiatives, so there is a lot of room for growth in this area.
We're shopping online more than ever before and for a wider range of products. Digital Commerce 360 estimates that "the pandemic contributed an extra $218.53 billion to e-commerce's bottom line over the past two years—and yes, that's billion with a b. E-commerce offers numerous growth opportunities for businesses and consumers alike."
Virtual Conferences and Event Planning:
The events industry has gone through some big changes lately, but it's poised for a comeback. People are starting to attend events, conferences, and concerts in person again, but virtual and hybrid events are still popular too. Virtual events are a great way to reach a wider audience.
What Makes These Growth Industries?
The pandemic has created opportunities for entrepreneurs in industries like healthcare and eldercare. Women are especially well-suited to taking advantage of these opportunities.
For example, businesses in the longevity industry base their projections on demographics—more senior citizens mean a greater demand for services for the elderly. Similarly, as digital-first becomes the norm for consumers and businesses, we can expect to see growth in cybersecurity and technical industries.
So you want to start a business, but you're not sure where to begin?
The process of starting a women-owned business is largely the same as starting any other type of business, but you may need to work a little harder to get financing and support due to gender biases. Some tips for getting started include:
- Write out a business plan.
- Get some financing.
- Plan your pricing strategy.
- Launch your product or service.
Any of the ideas listed above could be a great way to make some extra money on the side. Focusing on growth industries is always a good idea, as there's more potential for success down the line. Ultimately, it's all about finding what you're good at and turning it into a successful side hustle or home-based business.