When I first came across the name “lipstick entrepreneur” while reading the newspaper, I thought what a name it was to be given to women business owners. Why “lip entrepreneur”? What happen to “mum entrepreneur”? I was curious so decided to check it out on the internet but had no luck finding. It seems that the name was first appeared in the report by Future Laboratory for Avon, the direct seller of beauty products, and the Federation of Small Businesses. The report said that there will be a drastic increase of women-owned businesses in the next decade and this was also mentioned in the article at Financial Times – “ Recession spurs rise of ‘lipstick entrepreneurs’ ”.
It was quite an interesting article as the name “lipstick entrepreneurs” was synonymous to “successful women business owners”. Despite the controversial name, the article has a few points worth mentioning.
Home Business is No Longer the Last Resort for Women
Many women business owners who started their home businesses are not solely due to redundancy or retrenchment but they choose to strike out on their own as home business no longer seem as last resort. The Internet has facilitated the setting up of home business and offer much more new business opportunities than before. Women business owners can now test drive their ideas using the Internet technology at the comfort of their home. In addition, the ability to utilize one’s skills and knowledge without restrictions is definitely tempting ideas for many of them.
More Freedom and Flexibility Needed
There were a few successful female role models mentioned in the article. One of them, Ms Jackson who is the women’s enterprise advocate for the South East England Development Agency said the main reason she started her own business was she didn’t want to be the “slave to business” and work till late at night. She wanted to spend more time with her family. I believe this is a common dream for every working women but it is simply not possible with a day job. Job or Family? There is not much choice especially during this gloomy economy – recessions, retrenchment and payout. Hence, it is not surprise to learn more women turn to home business for more freedom and flexibility.
More Confidence Developed
Women business owners develop more confidence when they gradually achieved success in their businesses. Most started out due to financial difficulty or their spouse lost their jobs. It is encouraging when women business owners grow from dependent to having voices on their own. They are now in control than being control in their life.
At the end of the article, it has another controversial message that successful women business owners need “power dressing” to gain confidence. It refers to the once-popular shoulder pad in the 80s that could “maximize boardroom confidence” when wearing it. I wonder in this era, do we still to boast our confidence with such stuff? Confidence is something that takes time to develop and often the result of overcoming one obstacle before another. It is concrete and real and not something superficial that can add on as and when needed.
Similarly, using name “lipstick entrepreneur” when describing successful women business owners are superficial too. Women business owners are more than their makeup on their face; they are smart, determined, persistence and have unique insights. Women in some discussion forum already found the name bias and offensive. One of them said the word “lipstick” is almost equivalent to inequalities and discrimination while some concerned that such label will make people take them less seriously.