Boss Lady

Holly Stevens discusses empowering female entrepreneurs

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There are more female-owned businesses now than ever before—but despite recent progress, many women still fail to see their potential and never even consider launching a business. While society grants men the resources and encouragement, they need to blaze forward with bold new business ideas, women are often hindered by societal and familial barriers. This is the case in nearly all areas of business.

Filling the void in male-dominated industries 

After entering the world of construction, Holly Stevens realized a gaping lack of female representation in the industry. Compelled by her belief that women deserve to thrive in all industries alongside their male counterparts, she set out to fill that void. These convictions, eventually, are what led her to establish her business, HCS Inc. Through HCS Inc., Stevens works to make safe and affordable housing an accessible possibility for low to moderate income residents of Arkansas.

Through her work with HCS Inc., she has become even more convicted in her belief that women have a place in entrepreneurship. Unfortunately, she recognizes that many women never receive the encouragement or direction to pursue ambitious ventures in male-dominated industries. In this article, she seeks to reach women of all sectors, empowering them to start their own businesses and achieve their long-term objectives. 

Lean into your strengths 

A strong and successful businessperson is an individual who has capitalized on their strengths in order to begin building an empire. To do so, women wishing to launch successful ventures must first recognize their own strengths.

Holly Stevens points out that unfortunately, the practice of actively identifying and celebrating gift is something that does not come naturally to many women. That’s why she recommends that anyone considering an entrepreneurial venture sit down and unabashedly take not of their many skills. Mindfulness practices like journaling may help achieve this. Afterwards, consider how those skills can be applied in the business world.

Join a network of professionals 

There’s never been a better time for women to take initiative and launch the business of their dreams. These days, women in business are more driven and connected than ever before: they’re dedicated to helping each other succeed in the joint effort to end gender biases. As a result, numerous organizations and non-profit groups have sprouted up across the world, each with the common goal to help women reach their entrepreneurial goals.

Even if you’re just starting out, you already have a support system within arms’ reach. Groups like SheEO, the National Association of Women Business Owners, the Tory Burch Foundation, and countless others are all dedicated to helping female entrepreneurs connect and excel. Facebook has also become a hotbed of empowerment for female entrepreneurs, offering groups that help women network and develop their business strategies.

Realize you don’t have to do it alone

Between family responsibilities and social obligations, running a business can add plenty more stress, especially for female business owners who are faced with a more complex set of responsibilities. So often, women feel pressured to do it all—and to do it alone.

While independence is a gift and a strength in any career, knowing how to seek and accept help when it’s needed is an essential skill of anyone in business—male or female. If you’re finding yourself stretched thin while launching or operating your new company, do not hesitate to reach out to your network and supporters. As Holly Stevens points out, true success is impossible without a community—never be afraid to participate in that community by making your own needs known. 

Seek a mentor 

Business ownership requires constant growth. Unfortunately, there’s no class or training that can teach you everything you need to know. Your growth requires constant learning, enrichment, and encouragement—that’s where mentorship comes in.

Having an industry-specific mentor gives female entrepreneurs access to helpful tips, guidance on best practices, encouragement and support, and access to priceless feedback. While each of these are essential for any business owner, they are especially important for women.

The bottom line

There’s no arguing that women encounter more challenges and obstacles than men in the business world, but advocates like Holly Stevens understand that those barriers are worth overcoming. Women have amazing skills and lived experiences that enrich any industry, sometimes all they need is a little encouragement and coaching to turn their dreams into reality.

Thankfully, female entrepreneurs like Holly Stevens are here to encourage women to make the leap. Her lived experiences and success with HCS Inc. prove that doing so doesn’t just benefit you personally, it also benefits the communities to which your business caters.

About Jamie Catright

jamiec@thebusinesswomanmedia.com'

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