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Lessons from Women Entrepreneurs

I was recently reading an article on the Entrepreneur website on “Inspiring Leadership Lessons from 13 Female Founders” and realized how simple yet impactful some of the advice was. Based on my own experience of working and investing with women entrepreneurs, the following three lessons stood out to me the most.

1.Be true to yourself and perform to your strengths: Discovering your passion and strengths and using that as a base for becoming an entrepreneur is a great way to get started. This is especially true to women entrepreneurs who have the odds stacked a little higher for themselves. So be true to yourself and perform to your strengths, because when things get tough this should help you stay the course.

2.Know that an entrepreneur is not supposed to do it all: Building a business is all about bringing together people with different skill sets to deliver a great product to the customer with amazing execution. While that’s easier said than done, a lot of women entrepreneurs I mentor don’t think about team building right at the beginning. I’m usually coaching first time women entrepreneurs to think about bringing on board co-founders or advisors in areas of the business they are not the best at, before even starting their venture.

I also have seen most successful women entrepreneurs invest and build deep networks and use that along with their out of box thinking, to find solutions to their company’s challenges.

3.Be prepared to fight out there: Many women groups often have conversations on the gender biases in the VC community. While that is true, I’ve also never seen a good venture capital investor tell me that they will not invest in the venture they are convinced about, because a woman has founded it.Venture capital investors want to make money, period.

If you understand that and are prepared to learn, improve and fight till you can convince a startup investor to invest in you, you are ready to play the game.

So, while it’s important to continue to have conversations on the lack of women entrepreneurship development in India and the gender biases in the funding world, it is also equally important to discuss how to work with women entrepreneurs to make them successful because nothing will change mindsets more than having more women-driven companies drive great returns for their investors.

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