Why Women Start New Businesses: Reasons, Challenges, and Opportunities

Why Women Start New Businesses: Reasons, Challenges, and Opportunities

Have you ever thought about starting your own business? More women are turning to entrepreneurship, and according to our second annual Global Entrepreneurship survey, 72 percent of women want to open their own business. Of those women, 50 percent don’t currently own a business, while 22 percent already have one but would like to start another venture.

Conducted by OnePoll, our survey examined the thoughts of 9,000 women across 15 countries, including 2,000 women in the U.S., identifying their top reasons, motivating factors, and perceived challenges of starting a new business.

Here are the results:

Herbalife_Nutrition_Women_Entreneurship_Infographic

Top Reasons Why Women Are Turning to Entrepreneurship

Making the decision to build a business from the ground up is no easy feat. What are those motivating factors that drive the entrepreneurial spirit? As a global nutrition company offering an economy opportunity, we sought to understand the tangible benefits women perceive when it comes to becoming an entrepreneur.

The top-cited benefits include:

In addition to these, we also wanted to understand other motivating factors beyond the tangible benefits.

For many women, being an entrepreneur is considered empowering, life-changing, inspiring, and meaningful. In fact, 45 percent of respondents believe that entrepreneurship is an opportunity to “give women more positive role models.”

In other words, helping future generations is one of the top motivating factors on why women want to become entrepreneurs. Eighty percent of respondents agreed that they wanted to start a business to become a role model for younger women and girls.

Common Challenges When Starting a New Business

While the desire to start new businesses is top of mind for many women, we also wanted to acknowledge the risks, challenges, and worries associated with entrepreneurship.

When asked what might hold them back from starting a new business, our respondents cited the following concerns:

  1. The initial cost to open a business (52 percent)
  2. Lack of financing or market knowledge support (44 percent)
  3. Unsure what steps to take in order to start (24 percent)
  4. Limited education and training to start, manage, and grow a business (19 percent)

New ventures can be daunting, and many people can feel overwhelmed by the idea of starting something new. Like most of us, we want to feel confident in our skills before embarking into new territory.

This is why 52 percent of respondents said that a mentor to guide them in their entrepreneurship journey would help them take the first step in starting their own business. We have heard similar stories like these from our independent distributors being trained and coached by their sponsors.

Similarly, our survey found that 43 percent of women would take the first step if they had the ability to run the business part-time until they are ready to go full-time.

Why Our Business Opportunity Empowers So Many Women

Herbalife Nutrition offers business opportunities for men and women to earn extra income while helping their customers and communities achieve a healthy, active lifestyle. In fact, more than half of our independent distributors worldwide are women.

In the stories below, you’ll learn how our part-time and full-time distributors are making a positive impact on peoples’ lives and transforming their communities.

Here are some reasons why our business opportunity is so attractive, and why many women choose Herbalife Nutrition:

They can earn extra income.

Not everyone is ready to start a full-time business on their own. Many would like to keep their 9-to-5 but explore side business opportunities to supplement their income. Independent distributors who have put in the hard work and consistent effort could use that extra income toward their bills and family vacations.

“Some of the supplemental income I’m able to make goes towards my five-year old’s schooling. I am helping him to thrive with the best possible education he can get.”*

Tatiana Thomas, Herbalife Nutrition distributor in California.

Many women operate their Herbalife Nutrition businesses part-time because of the flexibility it offers. They may be able to earn extra money while dedicating some of their free time to help people become healthier.

“I am a speech pathologist. Thanks to the extra income I earn, I get to spend more time with my younger children and take part in their school activities”.*

Theodora Anagnostakos, Herbalife Nutrition distributor in New York.

Many women entrepreneurs commit part-time hours to grow their distributorships, while others dedicate full-time efforts to building their business. Why?

Here are some motivating factors:

They become their own boss.

Why do men and women aspire to start their own business? According to author Olga Mizrahi, it is primarily because of the following:

These drivers come together in an ultimate desire: to have more flexibility and time for what is important.

“As a first-time mom, I wasn’t sure how I’d be able to continue my business while balancing the needs of my son. I have the flexibility to make my own schedule and bring him with me to the nutrition club. Having the freedom to spend time with my son is the most rewarding thing about my business.”
Valentina Echavarría, Herbalife Nutrition distributor in Florida.

A study by The McKinsey Global Institute indicates that people who pursue their own businesses tend to be more satisfied with their work lives. They feel more empowered, motivation increases, and they have a genuine interest in their work.

“One of the most important life decisions was when my husband and I decided we were ready to have children. We wanted to be a family that spent quality time together. That wouldn’t be easy without flexible work hours. We decided to focus on what we were passionate about: nutrition, fitness, and being a positive influence on others”.

Elian Hernández, Herbalife Nutrition distributor in Florida.

They can follow their passion.

According to Entrepreneur.com, women tend to gravitate towards community-driven initiatives, focusing on health, education, and social services. Thus, they create shared value, generating business in a way that also produces value for society.

“Being able to help somebody with weight management, gain muscle, or overall feel better with themselves and being confident – I knew this is what I was meant to do. This allowed me to supplement my husband’s income while still working the business from home part-time.”

Julie Contreras, Herbalife Nutrition distributor in California

Our business opportunity gives distributors the tools and resources to coach their customers in becoming better, healthier versions of themselves. Using the training and materials from our company experts, they provide wellness evaluations and nutrition plans based on their customers’ goals.

“We are passionate about fitness, particularly dancing, and we wanted our work to reflect the things we love. That’s why we opened a dance school, which has been our main source of income for four years. Combining it with our part-time Herbalife Nutrition business has provided flexibility around our day-to-day work.”

Satu Välimäki, Herbalife Nutrition distributor in Finland

They can make a positive difference.

Helping someone achieve a healthier lifestyle can be rewarding in itself. But as we’ve seen from several distributor stories, it is more than that – it’s about living with purpose, fighting for a cause, or helping others become better versions of themselves.

For many of our distributors, the goal is to coach and encourage others to achieve a healthy weight through personalized nutrition, along with diet and exercise. Social support motivates lasting change.

 “The story of my client and friend Amy is an inspiring example of what teamwork can achieve. We worked on a plan for her to lose weight, and keep it off, by focusing on making better food choices and getting more activity. I look at her like a sister. We’ve helped each other through a lot of challenges. After more than two years of friendship, she has lost weight and gotten results.”

Melissa Lox, Herbalife Nutrition distributor in California.

Herbalife Nutrition’s business opportunity involves creating a meaningful, personal relationship between the distributor and their customers. Building trust is essential to achieve any personal transformation.

“I want to build relationships with our customers, helping them find whatever it is that makes them happy. I want to help them find their purpose and break through whatever barrier it is that’s holding them back”.

Rochelle Byers, Herbalife Nutrition distributor in Ohio.

Doing the Herbalife Nutrition business allows women to create a chain of wellness. It starts with an individual, but it snowballs into a whole community. 

“Today, my family and I own a sound business that has brought our community together. We offer a 90-day transformation program, broken down into three 30-day phases. Our nutrition club has a variety of fitness classes and wellness programs. We even do live classes on the web! My daily routine includes working one-on-one with customers throughout their transformation journeys.”

Morgan Martin, Herbalife Nutrition distributor in Illinois.

They receive mentorship, business training, and resources.

According to our global survey, many women hesitate starting businesses because of a perceived lack of knowledge, experience, or training. Similarly, Entrepreneur.com adds that women are less likely to explore and expand their services because they think they don’t have the right training, education, advisory networks, mentorships, and community programs.

The problem is often accessibility and convenience. Where can women find the resources to build business skills?

Herbalife Nutrition is a great starting point for entrepreneurial women, offering a 1-1 mentorship model, in addition to marketing and sales training tools and events for independent distributors. Training events are also available to support new distributors building their businesses**. Clear business methods are often refined and improved to meet evolving customer demands.

“I was incredibly grateful for the tools and trainings that Herbalife Nutrition offered to start my business. I knew I had to make them mine and create my own personal brand through dedication and hard work. So I set my purpose: to be the Latina Herbalife Nutrition leader in my community. To be the go-to source when it came to fitness and nutrition topics. I committed to make a change and be the change.”

Delfina González, Herbalife Nutrition distributor in California.

How Herbalife Nutrition Trains and Empowers Women Entrepreneurs

Herbalife Nutrition supports independent distributors every step of the way. That is why the company offers a wide range of tools, including online resources that cover relevant business topics such as:

This education is supported by the mentoring relationship distributors have with their sponsors. That close one-on-one connection encourages and motivates new distributors to acquire knowledge and training, so they can best serve their customers.

Women Distributors Empower Other Women

Herbalife Nutrition independent distributors also offer their own workshops. They focus on empowering women to be more entrepreneurial. Here are some examples managed by distributor leaders:

Angelica Cruz, Mexico. Angelica holds quarterly workshops for women to focus on overcoming self-esteem challenges, identifying strengths, and empowerment.

Isabel Ruiz, Puerto Rico. Every two months, Isabel holds workshops addressing women empowerment. She focuses on identifying current strengths to boost attendees’ self-esteem.

Laura Holloway, Midwest and California. Laura’s workshops focus on building women communities. The purpose is for women to find strength in other women and support each other.

Jessica Gutierrez, Texas. Jessica developed a weight loss program for women. They use online and offline communities, focusing on setting goals and building confidence.

Karla Sandoval, California. Karla’s workshops focus on women in business, Latinas in the corporate world, and overcoming negative perceptions in the workplace.

*Income depicted is unique to the individual and is not typical. Achievements require skill & consistent work. For typical earnings, see our Statement of Average Gross Compensation.
**To learn more about our Gold Standard, click here.

Ibi MontesinoSr. Vice President and Managing Director, North America

Ibi Montesino is responsible for all business, strategic, sales and marketing functions across the North America region, which includes the U.S., Canada, Jamaica, and the Caribbean. She has been featured in the prestigious annual list of the “Nation’s 100 Most Influential Hispanics” in the U.S. by Poder Hispanic magazine.