the forty-something woman entrepreneur

Many women decide to take the plunge and start their own business when they are in their forties.  After having worked many years for someone else and having accumulated valuable experience and skills, this is the time when the forty-something woman usually decides to put all that knowledge to work for her and no one else.  

Statistics in many developed countries show that the number of new businesses being started by women is soaring.  The authors of Birthing the Elephant: A Woman's Go-for-it!, a book offering advice for women who are starting a business, even claim that women are better suited to entrepreneurship than men, because women are not afraid to ask for help.  

Female entrepreneurs usually decide to take the crucial step to start their own business because they are not satisfied with their careers and want to do something more challenging or simply because this gives them the flexibility they want.  

Balancing a family life and a successful career is one of the biggest challenges women in their forties face these days, and being self-employed or in charge of their own business helps them find the right balance in their lives.  

A large percentage of businesses started by women in their forties are home-based, with many forty-something women leading thriving eBay and online businesses. 


Sophie Lascelles, 42, runs, a successful online shop selling maternity gifts for the whole family. Sophie’s love for creating fun slogans and simple graphics, and the realisation when she was pregnant that there is an evident need for shops that can deliver a full range of gifts for the entire family to celebrate the arrival of a new baby, gave her the inspiration she needed to launch her home-based venture.  “I was pregnant with my second baby and was very hesitant about going back to my full-time job when the maternity leave period was over.  I wanted to be in control of my career and at the same time spend more time with my kids.  Fortunately, I found a way to put my creativity to work in a profitable way without having to make a hefty investment.”

Andrea Guidera, 41 and mother of four, is the owner and designer at Annique Grace, an online shop offering unique jewelry.   “I love creating things. And I wanted to offer women a place to shop for one-of-a-kind finds and periodically come back to see what's new. I am not into mass production as far as my jewelry is concerned, but later on, as I grow and my aspirations of branding the name start coming to fruition, I will want to look at mass producing items such as blankets, beddings, soft textiles and home accessories. But, making sure I always offer women something inspirational, unique and functional at the same time.”  

Andrea took the decision to start her own online business when she turned 40.  With many years of experience in the corporate world, she decided it was about time to exploit all her skills and talents for her own benefit and that of her loved ones “This is something I have always wanted to do.”  

Other areas where entrepreneur women in their forties are succeeding are retail, fashion, leisure, media and marketing.  By generating business opportunities, today’s forty-something women entrepreneurs are taking a leading role as contributors to the healing process of the global economy.  

The key to doing well as a woman entrepreneur is having the right attitude.  If you are thinking about launching your own venture, be prepared to do a lot of planning ahead and make sure you are open to advice while remaining focused on your goal. 

Support from your loved ones always helps; but having confidence in yourself and your capabilities is even more important.

Read more about the working woman in her forties.




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