A new report from WalletHub reports that Raleigh ranks far down the list as a center for women-owned businesses. So what do women need to succeed as entrepreneurs and owners? An associate professor at UNC-Greensboro offers her insight. (Greensboro, by the way, ranked ninth in the survey.)

Bonnie Canziani is Associate Professor in the Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality & Tourism at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She shared her thoughts with WalletHub.

Why are women less likely than men to be entrepreneurs?

  • Lack access to funding and the local “start-up” culture.
  • Very little support to help women balance competing work/life roles.
  • Limited education in traditional business topics, i.e., accounting and finance.

Which are the most common mistakes made by young female entrepreneurs?

  • Pushing a pet idea or product rather than understanding what the market wants.
  • Not getting the concept of “margins” and the importance of business cash flow and having a business plan.
  • Not understanding the legal side or “fine print” of the business domain, e.g., contracts, risk management, patent and trademark protection.
  • Not approaching existing sources of venture capital and mentors in entrepreneurship centers because they happen to be male dominant.

In what fields are female entrepreneurs having the most success?

  • Fields that integrate their other roles and responsibilities such as caretaker, hobbyist, parent, event planner, culinary and landscape or other artistic field.
  • Social entrepreneurship focused on societal and environmental issues where there is a good level of existing local support.
  • Married couple entrepreneurial teams, where the woman takes on the front of the house roles in marketing and customer service and/or back of the house office accounting and purchasing functions.
  • More highly educated with professional degrees tend to be more aggressive in pursuing independent spin-off office opportunities.

What is the most effective way local authorities can encourage women to become entrepreneurs?

  • Evaluate the hurdles to access lines of credit from local financial institutions and other sources of venture capital.
  • Increase the visibility of successful female entrepreneurs and encourage their participation in business incubators and entrepreneurship centers.
  • Increase the availability of low-cost short-term entrepreneurship education courses.
  • Find ways to match female entrepreneurs with potential mentors.