How Mentoring Can Help Women-Led Businesses Thrive

(StatePoint) The financial disparities between male and female entrepreneurs are far-reaching. Women-led businesses receive lower valuations, less capital and fewer conventional small business loans than those led by men. Women entrepreneurs also pay themselves less than men and often take the brunt of balancing their family’s needs while growing their business. In spite of these challenges, women-led businesses of all types are thriving across the United States, thanks in part to initiatives offering tactical support and networking opportunities.

Take it from Racquel Garcia, whose substance abuse recovery and life coaching business HardBeauty had substantial outside funding but needed guidance in becoming an efficient and sustainable operation. She applied to join the Milestone Circles program offered by the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center and funded by Wells Fargo Foundation.

As part of Wells Fargo’s Connect to More program, the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center places women entrepreneurs from across the country into “circles” that receive virtual and in-person peer and professional coaching over 12 weeks, plus the support of a growing network of fellow business leaders. As of June 2022, the program has graduated more than 540 entrepreneurs in 47 states, with an aim of graduating another 1,000 women over the next 12 months. Built by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, the goal is to create space for women to step away from business pressures, identify goals and support each other’s growth.

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