Op-Ed: Are women business owners really second-class entrepreneurs?
A strong dichotomy exists in the mind of the general public between businesses that are fast-growing, capital-rich, and highly-visible (and undeniably mostly male) and businesses that grow more organically, remain closely held, have greater longevity, have less capital, and stay smaller.
The first group gets deemed the legitimate "real" entrepreneurs, while the latter group, especially if they are run by women, gets passed off as "lifestyle" or "lipstick" entrepreneurs. While in reality businesses in the latter group are run by both men and women, I've yet to see a man's business pejoratively referred to as a "lifestyle" business.
It can be easy to forget that of the 8-10 million women entrepreneurs in the U.S., only a very small portion are fundable by the traditional VC model, and only a portion are even interested in this kind of funding. The over-emphasis on these conversations not only prevents us from talking about the real issues that impact and matter to the majority of women entrepreneurs, but also detracts from the value and legitimacy of the majority of women entrepreneurs.