Following the 2007-2009 recession, the number of women-owned firms in the United States increased dramatically compared to the average of all firms. Now, 40% of all businesses are started by women entrepreneurs. While the data suggests that women are making leaps and bounds in the business arena, barriers to achieving a level of success that matches men entrepreneurs remain intact. According to a CNBC article from earlier this year, less than 5% of companies run by women entrepreneurs have strong economic impact. To dismantle the blockades in the path of a majority of females hoping to attain revenue comparable to their male counterparts, determination for the task ahead is required.

Thought leaders in a variety of industries have delivered TED Talks on issues relevant to the plight and overall experience of women entrepreneurs. Find inspiration, shared vision, and critical tips in the following TED Talks.

TED Talks for Women Entrepreneurs

1. “Do what you love, no excuses” – Gary Vaynerchuk

In 2008, outspoken entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk took self-doubt and crumpled it like a napkin within his hands. An audience at the Web 2.0 Expo listened to Vaynerchuk discuss passion and how the digital and social landscape has given everybody an option to pursue it.

“There is way too many people in this room right now that are doing stuff they hate. Please stop doing that. There is no reason in 2008 to do sh*t you hate.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

His story is one of taking something and making it better. It’s one of deciding that something isn’t the something you are passionate about and making a bold decision to move on to the something that is your something. If you ever start to question your abilities or feel pressured to quit, watch Vaynerchuk’s TED Talk.

2. “Why do ambitious women have flat heads?” – Dame Stephanie Shirley

All the women entrepreneurs out there will want to watch Dame Stephanie Shirley’s TED Talk. This is a woman who was once a child refugee, but now spreads her money throughout the world to spark positive change. This is a woman who stared straight through the glass ceiling and onto greener pastures by starting her own company.

“I believe in the beauty of work when we do it properly and in humility. Work is not just something I do when I’d rather be doing something else.” – Dame Stephanie Shirley

With humor and grace, Shirley describes the obstacles she overcame as a female business owner. In a time where she couldn’t open a bank account without her husband’s consent, she preserved and pursued the vision she believed was right.

3. “Know your worth, and then ask for it” – Casey Brown

Casey Brown highlights the problem – woman in business (even entrepreneurs) are earning less than their male counterparts. But she attributes some of the situation to women selling themselves short in the marketplace. She, herself, even devalued her service offerings. As a pricing consultant, Brown tells a story about how she feared reflecting her value in the price tag of her services. By viewing her TED Talk, a woman entrepreneur will reconsider her own worth and corresponding value, her language when describing her company or position to others, and her voice within an industry or organization.

Start obliterating the walls in front of you with inspiration from TED. For more reviews of our favorite TED Talks, check out the following articles:

6 TED Talks to Help You Succeed at Work and Life

A Passionate Point of View: A TED Talk Presentation Analysis

3 Steps to Reevaluating Fears: A TED Talk Review


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