Given the disparities of the gender pay gap and the traditional way that women are still viewed when it comes to discussing careers, it's little surprise that so many females feel they have something to prove.
Therefore, it should also not come as a surprise that many women are choosing to face these challenges on their own terms. All of the traditional career obstacles faced by women can be overcome by devising and creating businesses that are attuned to their own needs, as well as those of their customers.
Using the US an example, it's abundantly clear that when it comes to business, women are raring to go. According to research obtained by Business Insider, the number of female entrepreneurs has increased by 114% over the last 20 years, which, to provide some context, means that women in the US are starting 849 new businesses every day.
Whether this is a reaction to the gender pay gap, work-life schedule differences, or merely symptomatic of broader entrepreneurial trends, starting a business can represent a wise decision. To help provide some inspiration, we've compiled a list of business ideas for women - the perfect starting point for those looking to take the plunge.
Not everyone has to be a novelist to be able to write. If you possess knowledge of SEO and understand the online market, anyone with a basic aptitude for writing can earn income from it.
The kinds of writing that women can take on as a business are varied and include copywriting, blogging, writing for social media, speech writing, ghostwriting and business writing, while if you have an aptitude for languages you can also edit, proofread and translate. There is a lot of demand for blogs from the perspective of women, particularly concerning motherhood, work-life balance, wellness and other women's issues.
Bookkeeping / Financial Services
Every business needs an accountant they can trust to keep their books, and accounting is a profession that lends itself to flexibility. If you have the requisite qualifications and licenses and possess a basic understanding of how to market yourself, then you only need one satisfied customer to get the ball rolling.
If you have a professional services background and understand finance and investments, you could also help clients with this aspect of their business. Accounting and financial consulting are low-overhead opportunities that could blossom into full-time sustainable ventures.
Party Planning / Event Management
This business idea is perfect for women who enjoy organising and planning. It will require a network of contacts and some prior industry knowledge to get you started, but once you have put a few events together, it should be easier to build a reputation for yourself.
Whatever your expertise - be it SEO, social media, business, tax or anything else - consulting is the perfect way to capitalise on it. If you possess the necessary knowledge and experience, why not fit things around your schedule?
Arts and crafts might sound a little quirky, but there is currently a very profitable market for handmade goods.
Although it is not strictly for females, making any arts and crafts items that people want to buy is usually something women can excel at. If you have a talent for painting, jewellery making, knitting, repairing and refurbishing old furniture, baking, pottery, or card-making, then your abilities may bring in some serious money.
Speaking of which - are you good with a needle and thread? If so, you could repair clothes, or sew curtains, table cloths, cushions - anything, essentially, that the market demands and that your sewing machine can handle.
Design-related professions are a natural fit for freelancing because not all businesses need (or can afford) an in-house designer to get the job done. If you are an interior, graphic, landscape or, indeed, any other type of designer, start polishing up your portfolio and get your Instagram in shape: start using your network to bring your business idea to life.
Every business should be conducting market research, as it is on the back of this intelligence that strategies are built, implemented and used to turn a profit. If you have market knowledge of a particular sector, approach firms in that niche and see if they need someone to perform their market research, field research or, indeed, any research you feel comfortable doing.
Beauty and Wellness
This is a perfect side business idea for ladies. You could give facials, massages, pedicures or run a yoga class, or, if you possess the right training, perform all kinds of in-demand beauty procedures. You might need to invest in some equipment initially, but there is always a market for this type of business; if you can build a sustainable core of clients, and you're social media and marketing skills are up to scratch, this is an idea with much potential for success.
Another business with low overheads, eCommerce, online selling, or reselling is a highly sustainable way of generating income. You also don't necessarily have to be tech-savvy, with online platforms such as Etsy and eBay often doing much of the technical leg work for you.
The key is to identify where the customer demand is and how to market your services to them.
Bed and Breakfast Services
If you have space in your home, or somewhere else you can use to entertain guests, then why not transform it and market it as somewhere people can spend the night? With the rapid rise of online accommodation services, it's easier than ever to attract clients,
Again, if you have the relevant knowledge and expertise within a particular subject or topic, then why not pass it onto others? This is a great business idea, especially if you have the facility to teach from your own home; you can create your own timetable and, once you have begun to build a good reputation, clients will likely start coming to you.
If you are going to be teaching children, make sure that you have undergone any and all necessary vetting procedures and have steps in place to keep yourself and your students protected.
Marketing and PR
If you have experience with marketing and public relations, countless businesses are looking for someone just like you. You could become an affiliate, manage companies' social media, take on companies' public relations issues or any other tasks as necessary; the beauty of this role is that it can be done remotely, while as a freelancer, you can handle the PR and marketing needs of as many companies as you can handle.
Everyone loves to eat, so what better business for women than catering? You could put your own unique touch on your dishes or confectionary creations, marketing yourself as an out-and-out catering service or even setting up your own bakery or cafe.
If you have a garden or a small piece of land, and you're physically able, you could start farming. Organically-sourced foods are becoming increasingly popular, so why not plant some vegetables, get a few animals, or even start a honeybee farm?
Whether you are looking for a low investment side business, or to become the world’s next top female CEO of a billion-dollar company, it doesn’t matter; as a woman, running a business on your own terms can be a liberating experience.
Don’t forget to take a look at our list of business ideas for mothers, either!
What other small business ideas can you think of for women? Let us know in the comments below.