Nearly 40% percent of all U.S. businesses are women-owned, and by 2025 the Census Bureau projects it will rise to 55%. The trend is new, dating back just to the 1980s, but its impact is already felt. Not only are women achieving empowerment and bettering their lives in many different ways, but the beneficial affect on the economic well-being of the entire country is also clear. Coughlin examines the fundamental problems that face women entrepreneurs globally; identifies, documents, and explains how they cope with and solve them; profiles the more successful entrepreneurs today and explains how they got where they are; and delineates the traits of a successful entrepreneur. (There is also a metric that funders can use to evaluate how their entrepreneur clients are doing, useful for entrepreneurs too as a way of benchmarking their own progress.) Research based, well written, with a useful list of organizations that offer help to owners and prospective owners of new businesses, plus real life accounts that get to the heart of what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur, Coughlin's book is welcome, necessary reading for anyone fascinated by business—and eager to create a business of one's own.
Coughlin's book is divided into three sections. In the first, she documents the phenomenal growth of women-owned business, and the affects that globalization is having on them. She discusses the age-old problem of female equality, and puts the growth of their businesses into the context of women's empowerment. Section two focuses on the entrepreneurs themselves. Coughlin tells what we know about them, who they are, the kinds of businesses they start, and then categorizes and explains their motivations, economic as well as social. In Section Three she describes the process of business formation, the challenges women face, and the solutions to problems, often extreme, they have found. Included here are sections on evaluating organizations that offer help, and a new viewpoint on how the efficacy of help can and should be measured. A comprehensive resource guide for anyone interested in learning more about female entrepreneurs, and a sample business plan to use in seeking financial aid, are included in an appendix.