Women entrepreneurs are a rising force in business, bringing new ideas and innovative products and services to every sector of the U.S. economy. As part of its long-standing commitment to supporting women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship, Qurate Retail Group conducted a survey of more than 1,000 women small business owners on the factors that fuel entrepreneurial success. The survey concluded, among other findings, that choosing the right partnerships and people is the single most important factor in an entrepreneur’s growth as a leader, especially among companies with more than 10 employees.
“Entrepreneurs bring incredible passion and drive to their businesses, which is why they are such a force in innovation,” said Leslie Ferraro, president of QxH, Qurate Retail Group’s largest business unit, comprising its QVC and HSN brands in the U.S. “As a business moves out of its start-up phase and into new realms of growth, it becomes even more critical to shift focus to assembling the right team and selecting the right partners and distribution platforms to grow the brand for the long term. Launching and fostering the growth of up-and-coming brands is part of our DNA as a retail company and remains a core tenant of our brand experience.”
This finding reflects a broader pivot that women entrepreneurs make as their businesses grow: from executing against goals (which is critical at launch) to building a team that can sustain long-term growth. When asked to select a quote that best captures their business experience, respondents from smaller companies focused on the idea of getting things done, while respondents from larger small businesses saw alignment with concepts of inclusivity and teamwork:
• 37% of respondents with 1-10 employees selected this quote from Amelia Earhart: “The most difficult thing is the decision to act.”
• 38% of respondents with 51-100 employees selected a quote from Helen Keller: “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”
The way entrepreneurs define a “leader” evolves as well. Among respondents with 1-10 employees, 30% believe they first became a leader when they made their first sale or signed their first customer. However, as a leader manages a larger workforce, the goalposts for what makes her feel like a boss change:
• 26% said they became a leader when they grew their team (11-50 employees)
• 31% said they became a leader when they made their first deal (secured funding, established a partnership) (51-100 employees)
Women entrepreneurs also evolve their leadership style as their business passes growth milestones.
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