Women entrepreneurs in rural Texas face steep challenges
Starting a woman-owned business can be tricky, even in the best of circumstances. So launching one in rural Texas can be downright tough.
Rural areas have smaller populations, which limits the market size and customer base. This can make it challenging to find a niche market or achieve economies of scale. It may require innovative strategies and targeted marketing efforts to reach and serve rural customers.
Rural areas typically have less developed infrastructure than urban areas. Limited transportation, logistics, and communication networks pose challenges for entrepreneurs. Inadequate infrastructure increases costs and hampers logistics and delivery, making it harder to compete with urban businesses.
Limited investors, higher risk perceptions, fewer funding sources, and lack of collateral and assets make it difficult to get the capital needed to grow or sustain a small business. There is a funding disparity between urban and rural areas, with economic development initiatives focused more on urban areas.
The Center for Women Entrepreneurs at Texas Woman’s University understands these difficulties and created the $350,000 Texas Rural Woman Grant. It will fund 35, $10,000 grants for rural, woman-owned businesses in Texas.
Grant winners must attend a small business training course, complete a business plan and meet with a small business advisor. Alleviating some financial worries will help awardees build successful ventures that contribute to the prosperity of their rural communities.
Tracy Irby is the director of the Center for Women Entrepreneurs at Texas Woman’s University. Reach her at email@example.com. The center is a program of the Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership, which prepares women for successful roles in business and public service.
Shared By Tracy Irby, Director, TWU-Center for Women Entrepreneurs
Published She Business Time