In the year and a half since we founded Silvernest, I’ve made dozens of presentations about the company and how we are helping people share their homes in a safer and smart way. This past week I’ve been working on a presentation that is a little bit different. It’s about the power of women over 50 who have chosen to create their own businesses. The venue is the What’s Next Boomer Business Summit in Chicago and it is really exciting to hear the stories of other women entrepreneurs as they’ve built and grown their companies.
I’ve been thinking about what makes women entrepreneurs different. Being a female founder in the world of technology is also not that common – unfortunately. The good news is the ranks are growing – especially among people 50+. The rate of new entrepreneurs has grown from 14.8% of the population to 25.8% for this age group.
Interestingly men who start businesses tend to be young, while women tend to be older when they start companies. Think Mark Zuckerberg versus Martha Stewart! Women bring their business expertise, relationships and life experience to their business plan. They also frequently create businesses with a mission. That was especially important to me as we created the idea of matching roommates on Silvernest.
I also think women roll up their sleeves and get things done. We can see what needs to happen and how to get there. That kind of responsibility also means we blame ourselves when something doesn’t go well, instead of looking at all of the other factors that may have contributed. Women are also natural collaborators. We lead, but we want to hear from our team and we know that teams build strong companies.
Finally, I think women are intuitive. We have good instincts and usually just need to trust that inner voice and listen! And I will be listening this week as my fellow women entrepreneurs share their stories because it is important that we learn from each other, celebrate our accomplishments, and give other women the confidence to take the leap to start their own companies.
Wendi Burkhardt is the CEO of Silvernest, an online roommate-matching service for aging adults. A seasoned entrepreneur, Wendi also mentors and coaches social ventures.
You can learn more about homesharing at Silvernest.com– Silvernest boldly breaks the rules of aging so you can share your home on your own terms. We’re creating the next generation of roommates. A more modern kind. A well-matched kind. A kind that’s just your style. Because around here, the details are totally up to you.