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Woman as Entrepreneur

Are You a Woman With Entrepreneurial Promise?

Maud Purcell, LCSW, CEAP

Ready for a change? Are you a stay-at-home mom contemplating a return to work or a career woman tired of "punching someone else's time clock"? Well, here are the facts: 1.3 million new businesses are started each year. Nearly 40 percent of business ventures are female-owned. And 80 percent of U.S. companies have less than 20 employees.

If you haven't already gotten my drift, women from every walk of life are starting their own small businesses. And we women have already developed some skills that are critical to the success of an entrepreneurial venture: We have learned to "multitask" and problem solve with the best of them.

There are other skills and traits necessary for successful entrepreneurship. Which of these describe you?

Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

If you can say "yes" to all of the above, you have the makings of an entrepreneur. Of all of these characteristics, motivation is the most important. Here are some other factors that can increase your chances of success as an independent businesswoman:

Starting your own business is a big step. Talking with other women entrepreneurs, and hearing their "war stories" and their successes, may boost your courage and determination. Joining a professional group for women business owners may provide important business contacts as well as a morale boost. In the final analysis, however, it's up to you: Sometimes you just have to feel the fear and do it anyway.

Maud Purcell, LCSW, CEAP, is a psychotherapist and corporate consultant based in Stamford, Conn. She contends that problems are a normal part of living, and that most dilemmas have straightforward, commonsense solutions. Purcell lives with her husband and teen-age daughter. Her e-mail address is

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