Yes. It has to do with confidence. It has to do with lack of support around you, lack of networks, again, and just basic inherent confidence issues. If a woman's business fails, lots of times she'll attribute it to her own personal characteristics: “I'm not cut out to be a business owner”, “I should be spending time taking care of my elderly parents”, or “I don't know enough about the financial side”, whereas in the male-owned businesses, they'll attribute their failure to “It just didn't work out for me this time” or “They didn't understand my product and I'm going to do it again.” There is that inherent cultural bias that happens.
What we find in Newfoundland and Labrador, especially because a lot of our businesses are rural businesses, is that there is a really big need for support networks. At NLOWE I have nine business advisers, but seven of them are in rural areas of Newfoundland and Labrador. What's really been our success model is that our business advisers will drive out to the businesses and they'll meet with the business owner at their place of business.
As well, then we create networks. We create peer mentoring groups, we create training opportunities, and we do a conference every year, and those are the supports they need. If you look at the basic skill set, one thing that comes back to us a lot from our business owners is “I don't know enough about business.” Well, I would say that 90% of business owners don't know a lot about business. They're just really good at one thing and they make it into a successful business, but they had the wherewithal to hire the people to do that. That's what we're really teaching people.