1. Look beyond venture capital. The documented biases in the venture world mean women face an uphill battle when it comes to funding. Babson College’s Lakshmi Balachandra says women should put energy into seeking other sources of financial support or choose to bootstrap their businesses themselves to maintain control of their companies.
2. Take it slow. Most of the women interviewed chose to grow their companies at their own pace, and this measured approach left the businesses on more secure footing. Try not to let someone else set your timeline, Balachandra advises.
3. Invest in your employees. Building a supportive environment for your workforce is a long-term investment that often pays off in the end.
4. Lift others up. Supporting other women-owned businesses — either through buying from or funding them — is a way to shore up opportunities for others.
5. Create your own networks. If you’re not happy with the old-boy networks, then do your part to create a network for yourself. Seek out mentors and return the favor by helping others.
6. Make it personal. Relying on your personal experiences to inform your business can be one of your best assets. Women control half the total wealth in the United States — their purchasing power is immense.
Janelle Nanos covers retail for The Boston Globe. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.