••• small business research 

2022 proved to be a stressful year for female entrepreneurs. According to Office Depot’s 2023 Women’s Small Business Survey, over half (63%) of those who opened their business prior to 2022 said the past year was the most challenging for their business, with one in six feeling stressed daily. 

Twenty-three percent of respondents are experiencing concerns with fatigue and 13% are struggling to find employees. Thirty-five percent of small business owners say they employ their family members while 19% indicate it is against their philosophy to employ members of their family. Thirty-five percent say they would benefit from having marketing materials, access to office supplies (25%) and networking tools or platforms (34%).

Fifty-six percent of female business owners say there are highs and lows when running a company and 52% say it takes extensive time and effort to reach success. Forty-three percent of owners emphasize the importance of making connections and 42% advise other business owners to prepare for unexpected hurdles. Some say it is challenging to always be on the clock and to figure out how to balance tasks and distractions. Others say they struggle with the lack of co-worker camaraderie, not being amongst other people and not having a proper workspace with enough storage for business necessities.

More than half (55%) of women surveyed reported that they run their businesses primarily from home. Many have made substantial investments in creating a dedicated at-home workspace, with one in five claiming they have invested more than $5,000 of their own money for work-from-home equipment and tools to help run their business. This includes purchases like laptops (36%), printers (35%) and software programs (24%).

Despite facing myriad challenges, 70% of women say they enjoy being their own boss and 73% say their work-life balance has improved since opening the...