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What Motivates Female Entrepreneurs? 

Entrepreneur Month is a time to celebrate our diverse community of female founders and their journeys to entrepreneurship. At Lioness, we recognize that pursuing a passion, creating work-life balance or seeking financial freedom can lead to business ownership. But we wanted to know more. We asked our community what motivated them – what drove them to step beyond traditional work into the creative and innovative life of an entrepreneur. 

What motivates entrepreneurs?

It’s a seemingly simple question, but its responses are as varied and complex as the women who shared with us. We asked, “Why did you become an entrepreneur?” and discovered a common theme – a compelling need to expand their work lives into something bigger than their current circumstances. Although each journey followed different paths, pursuing that path was a shared commitment. 

What is the path?

From a young age, Emily Aborn knew she was meant to be an entrepreneur. Reflecting on her journey, she shared, “My entrepreneurial desire started when I was a kid when I started many businesses, everything from dog walking to a detective agency to an antique stand. I opened my first official business in 2014 (retail/brick and mortar) and have owned a total of three businesses.” 

For others, the path may unfold differently. Souligna Chanthavong Stone shared how she built a successful corporate career only to diverge from the traditional American Dream that her immigrant parents instilled, instead engaging in work that makes her happy. 

Jen Coken said that she lost four jobs in seven years while writing her book. She was laid off from her fourth job the day before her book came out. It took her failures to achieve her goals. 

Do more, make a difference 

Many of the female entrepreneurs we heard from echoed the need to have a bigger impact on their community and industry.

Elona Lopari summarized her feelings: “my inner voice called me towards something bigger.” 

Others we spoke with yearned for something different – something more than what they had or what existed before they embarked on their entrepreneurial journeys.

Siobhan Murphy said she needed to explore work differently, driven by the desire to help others find joy and purpose again. “I felt called to a different kind of conversation.”

For numerous women, making a difference and helping others was essential to becoming an entrepreneur. 

Isioma Utomi spoke to this need, “I love helping people find what they need to be successful. Starting a business to help people work smarter is another way to do just that!” 

I’ve always been an entrepreneur 

“Truth is, I’ve always been an entrepreneur,” said Coken. 

This sentiment resonated across our conversations. What motivated these entrepreneurs? Why? Lost jobs. Successful careers. The path may vary, but the need and drive remain consistent. The entrepreneurs we spoke with had to start their journey to fulfill the inner need to step into new types of work and create something unprecedented. The need is unrelenting.

Read more about what motivates entrepreneurs to start their businesses here.

About the author

Suzanne Drapeau

Suzanne Drapeau taught writing at the high school and college levels for 30 years and recently joined Carlton PR & Marketing. She spends her “free” time working/volunteering for the Hyperemesis Education and Research (HER) Foundation, where her main role is managing social media and building partnerships with other maternal health nonprofits. She lives in Michigan but hopes to become a digital nomad when her children finish their educations.

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