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Re-defining what is possible

"Women entrepreneurs are starting businesses at an historic rate. What’s driving these pioneers? And what is the ...

By Margaret Heffernan . 01 December 2006

"Women entrepreneurs are starting businesses at an historic rate. What’s driving these pioneers? And what is the impact of such a revolutionary quest? Margaret Heffernan has been at the forefront of this trend, and she offers three truths about women in today’s business world."
Redefining what is possibleMore women than ever – 420 a day in the United States – are starting new businesses. What’s driving them? Some of what’s driving women has to be a collision of social and economic trends. More and more women are well-educated. There is a larger pool of women with high-level experience in traditional businesses. There is a rise of entrepreneurship throughout the world’s economy and much of this is undoubtedly fuelled by the development of new technologies that make it cheaper and easier than ever to set up in business for yourself.

Over the last 10 years, I’ve met hundreds of fascinating women business owners, many of whom I met as part of the research I’ve been doing for a new book. They aren’t obviously exceptional people – some graduated college, some did not, most had no MBA – but allow me to share a few short stories with you as a way to try to get to three essential truths about female entrepreneurs. There are, in fact, many truths that should be known about women who choose to go forth and run their own businesses. Yet, as I think about my own career and, now, my extended travels learning about other women, I sense that the list of drivers that explains the special path that so many women in business are now choosing to travel begins with a desire to prove what one woman can do.

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