The digital world has changed the way that women act in and upon the business world. Changing trends and new digital technology are giving women the world over the tools, knowledge, and support to enter the business world and make waves. But what’s driving this sea-change?


Women are leading in innovation


Patents are traditionally a male-dominated arena, with a paltry 8% of patents held by women in 2010. But earlier this year, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (Wipo) reported that a third of patents globally were registered by women last year. In comparison, in the year before that, it was just 23%.

The digital world is changing, and patented inventions are just one sign of this. Indeed, this is especially evident in the tech industry.

Traditionally, women pitching for funding reported a lower success rate than their male counterparts. But the rise of crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo have subverted this trend. Today, crowdfunded projects led by women experience a significant 65% success rate. Compared with the 35% that men-led projects report, this is a clear — and inspiring — sign of how the digital world is impacting women in business.

Takeaway tip: historically male-dominated environments are no longer the closed-off societies they have been. Women can — and are — disrupting industries with great success. Don’t let history daunt you: step into new spaces and make them yours.


Female-led niches create new avenues for women


For years, women’s voices were quiet, subdued, stifled by a phallocentric business world that sold at women, rather than catering for them. But as women carve out a stronger place in society, so too are their specific wants and needs being catered to.

Consequently, new female-led niches are sprouting up across a range of industries. Take, for example, period products. The tampon was invented in 1929, and the menstrual cup didn’t appear until the 1960s. Since then, menstrual product development had stagnated — until the invention of period underwear.

Brands such as Thinx and Dear Kate are breaking down walls and making taboo products mainstream. These businesses, created and led by women, flourish by appealing to a universal female need, and achieving mass popularity on the digital space.

The internet has also changed the way existing women’s niches do business too. Subscription boxes have exploded in popularity, delivering curated beauty or jewelry products straight to customers’ doors.

Birchbox is the most notable example of successful subscription box businesses. Founded by Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna, it’s a shining example of a female-led business that is changing business for women, both as owners and as consumers.

Takeaway tip: discover new niches by looking long and hard at issues and desires that women experience. Alternatively, look at existing businesses and subvert them to serve women in entirely new ways.


Ecommerce creates a level playing field


The role of the woman as primary caregiver is one entrenched in society, in countries around the world. The stay-at-home mom is a stereotype that is hard to break.

But where previously it was seen as stifling for ambitious women who wanted to spread their entrepreneurial wings, today it is a blessing. The rise of DIY ecommerce platforms such as BigCommerce or Shopify have enabled women to start a business from their own home.

Take Rebecca Cowie for instance. She used Shopify to build her family-run baby clothing store Buffalo & Bear from the ground up after having her first child. At its height it reached almost $3000 a month in revenue, and she recently sold her business on Exchange for an impressive $10k — not bad for a stay-at-home mom.

Takeaway tip: as more and more tools and resources become available, getting started in business gets easier every day. Do your research to find the best ecommerce platform for you and get started with an online business today.


Digital brings empowered women together


Social media and the digital sphere are inextricable, and the increased globalisation enabled by the two has let women from all over the world connect with each other with ease.

Amazing support communities such as Women Who Start Up create safe spaces for women to support and motivate each other, providing business advice, financial advice, networking connections, and more.

The digital world has enabled women to support each other with ease. This in turn fosters a whole generation of empowered women who will continue to make waves in the business world.

Takeaway tip: as women, we are stronger united than we are divided. Create or join a business support network for women to encourage each other, fostering growth, success, and empowerment through community.

The digital world is a landscape that has seen vast changes in recent years. Internet availability has become more widespread, advancements in technology have opened up new avenues for businesses, and social media has brought communities of empowered women together.

Women in business don’t have it easy, that much is true even now. But by capitalising on the possibilities opened to us by the digital world, we can empower ourselves to go higher and further than ever before.

Kayleigh Alexandra

Content writer at MicroStartups
Kayleigh Alexandra is a content writer for Micro Startups — a site dedicated to giving through growth hacking. Visit the blog for your latest dose of startup, entrepreneur, and charity insights from top experts around the globe.
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