Do you have a business mentor or role model you look up to? One who can inspire, advise and encourage you? If you’re a woman business owner, the answer is probably “No.” According to the 2014 EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women Impact Study, most women business owners say they lack positive female entrepreneurial role models. What’s more, 60 percent lack advisory boards that can guide them in growing their businesses.
EY has found through its Entrepreneurial Winning Women program that access to business mentors and role models makes a real difference in women business owners’ success. After completing the program, 70 percent of women said they had begun setting bigger goals and thinking bigger, while 88 percent say their self-confidence in their leadership had improved.
Although the EY experience shows that even already successful businesswomen can benefit from mentorship and advice, studies have shown that women entrepreneurs typically have networks that are much smaller than those of male entrepreneurs. Women business owners also are less likely than men to use advisors, mentors and role models to help them run better businesses.
Where can you find mentors and role models? Here are five ideas:
(Disclosure: SCORE is a client of my company.)
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Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.