The Marlboro Man is Dead

mMfJYlSDespite what you’ve been led to believe, not all entrepreneurs are men.

Think about it. The popular cultural entrepreneurial narratives are dominated by men. From the 19th century, there’s Edison, Vanderbuilt, Carnegie and Rockfeller. Last century, you’ve got Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Today’s news tells us the stories of Richard Branson, Mark Cuban and Mark Zuckerberg.

What we’ve taught is that entrepreneurs are sort of corporate Marlboro men. You remember the Marlboro man? A man, alone on the prairie, astride a sweaty stallion, all stubble and grit gazing confidently into the distance.

Or maybe not.

According to this article and infographic, having women involved in a tech start-up can be economically advantageous:

“OnlineBusinessDegree.org says women-led private technology companies achieve 35 percent higher returns on investment and bring in 12 percent higher revenue than male-owned, venture-backed tech companies.”

As you can see in the infographic, the data shows that when women are involved in the entrepreneurial enterprise with numbers (at least 5 women in the org), the companies are twice as likely to succeed.

Want a greater return on investment? Want the company to succeed? Have women entrepreneurs involved.

In my line of work, I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside many women with entrepreneurial gifts. One of these women is right now pioneering a new ministry at a small community college. Compelled by a vision to reach the whole campus, last year she started a Bible study with the football team. The football team.

With schools starting, this week it was time to recruit. So picture this. A pint-sized, brave-as-you-can-imagine woman standing up in front of more than 100 hulking football players and inviting them to join her every week to study the Bible.

She got 41 interest cards. Amazing.

When it comes to starting something new, it’s time to recalibrate our paradigms. What if women are not only just as competent as men at new ventures, but in some cases they are even better?!?

Ultimately, as a culture and in the church, it’s time.

Let’s put the Marlboro man out to pasture.

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