More and more women are stepping up to start their own businesses across a wide range of industries and it is fantastic to see.

I am passionate about women in business – I have started 3 businesses – the first was The Healthy Mummy (which I took to a 25m turnover and sold in 2022), the next was Healthy Active Pet and I also have my own Consultancy business where I help other women in business succeed.

Whether it’s selling products wholesale on ecommerce sites (or creating and selling their own products), offering services, or opening a physical business of some kind, female entrepreneurs are flooding the marketplace at rates higher than ever before across the globe.

It’s fascinating to explore why so many women are starting businesses, especially since research suggests that, while their motives can and do align with men’s motives in many ways, they can also be very different from men’s motives.

Necessity is one of women’s primary motivators for starting their own business—both personal necessity, and marketplace necessity.

Personal necessity means starting a business because it feels like the only viable solution to your lifestyle needs.

And according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Women’s Report, women are 20 percent more likely than men to start a new business out of personal necessity.

Reasons why include the following:

1)Workplace flexibility.

Women with families are still the primary caregivers—both to their children and to aging, ill, or disabled family members—within their families, and few workplaces allow the flexibility or childcare assistance required for a woman in these situations.

Rather than attempt to navigate rigid work environments, more and more women are finding it easier to start their own business, and structure it around their needs.

2) Work/life balance.

One survey reports that about 74% of women claim flexibility is more important than making the most money.

And while having your own business is no guarantee of an ideal work/life balance, it certainly provides more options in obtaining a work/life balance that meets your needs.

The ability to set your own schedule also makes it easier to make time for things exercise and a healthy lifestyle, which are often the first things to go when you’re attempting to navigate an inflexible business environment.

3) Greater opportunities for income and growth.

In spite of how far we’ve come in addressing societal discrimination against women in the workplace, it’s still a huge problem that interferes with how far and how quickly women are able to advance, both in terms of seniority and income.

And at the cumbersome rate at which the gender pay gap is narrowing, women will not reach pay equity with men until the year 2119.

For example, the U.S. Census Bureau reports women working fulltime, year-round earned just 80% of what their male counterparts made.

And research by LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Co. suggests that although women and men say they want to be promoted in nearly equal numbers, women are 15% less likely than men to get promoted.

Rather than battle through all that, more and more women opt to start their own business, where there are no limitations on how much money they can earn or how big their business can become.

4) More control over their future.

The myth that working for a company offers the most stability is starting to lose steam, because many women have experienced a layoff, restructuring, reorganisation, or a buyout, at some point in their corporate life.

These scenarios frequently result in organisational changes that are out of one’s control and may have a negative career impact.

Rather than leaving their income dependent on the whims of one company or one supervisor, more and more women are climbing into the driver’s seat by starting their own companies.

In addition to having control of business activities, they can control with whom they partner, hire, and even who their clients are.

5) More meaningful pursuits.

Many women are leaving corporate life because their jobs just aren’t inspiring them anymore (or never were to begin with).

Starting a business, on the other hand, is a way to find meaningful pursuits, plus gives one the ability to leave behind a legacy you can be proud of.

6) Marketplace necessity.

Women are excellent problem-solvers, and as such, excel at seeing a need in the marketplace and creating a solution.

That is exactly why I created The Healthy Mummy. After having children, I set out in search of a specific way for mums to lose their baby weight and reclaim their health.

Finding nothing of the sort, I decided to create that solution myself, and The Healthy Mummy was born.

And it was the same for my next business Healthy Active Pet – which I created when I struggled to find freeze dried dog food that was chicken free.

Sara Blakely, creator of Spanx, is another example of discovering and filling a marketplace need.

Blakely had spent a small fortune on a pair of cream-colored pants, but they didn’t fit as well as she wanted.

So, she cut the feet off a pair of control-top pantyhose, and wore those under her pants. She felt and looked fabulous, and there were no panty lines.

The rest is history.

Other reasons women start businesses

Although necessity is one of women’s primary drivers for starting businesses, more and more women are also realising they aren’t required to have a specific reason, like necessity, freedom, or wanting to make a difference, to start a business.

In other words, more and more women are starting businesses simply for the joy of creating and running a business.

Whatever the reasons for starting a business, it’s clear female entrepreneurship is on the rise across the globe, which means more solutions, more opportunities, and more economic wealth.