Challenges that enterprising women of the 21st century face
According to a study released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MSPI), women constitute 8.05 million out of the total 58.5 million entrepreneurs, out of which, 13.3% of women entrepreneurs work in agriculture sector whereas more than 65% work in the non-agriculture industry. With the rise of start-ups in the country, it is no wonder that more and more women feel inclined towards the idea of starting their own business. But it’s not all roses for women when they begin their journey, as, at times, they face quite a few challenges along the way.
- SOCIAL EXPECTATIONS
Although times have changed, and so has the perception of many but there are still people who believe that women should not be allowed to pursue a career, be it be to start a business. This is why they feel the need to adopt a stereotypically male attitude that is – passionate, competitive, perseverance.
2.LACK OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT
Not all businesses and people are successful when it comes to having managed to find an investor who will invest in their business, especially if it is a woman. This is why many women have to bootstrap their entrepreneurial ventures, borrow money or raise capital on their own. It is also not uncommon for women to be denied loans because of the biases—gender and cultural.
- WORK-LIFE BALANCE
Women entrepreneurs don’t just face pressure from society; they have to take care of their family and other responsibilities. At times, they may be forced to quit their jobs or give up their business. A woman’s family expects her to be a mother and wife, whereas her business requires her to take charge and be a leader that others can depend on; it becomes hard to balance her work and family.
Imagine this scenario – You step into a seminar or session and find several men surrounding you, and hardly any women, unnerving. But this is the harsh truth. Most female entrepreneurs who have attended multiple events can relate to this. And that’s not all, as a female business owner in a male-dominated industry, earning respect has been a struggle.
Slowly but surely, there is a shift in the way women-owned businesses are gaining traction, but we need to ask ourselves. How long before, we realise that women need to support others, how long before we recognize that if we don’t help each other, who will? So, filter out the noise and learn from your mistakes. We can do it as long as we stand together.