Entrepreneurship is viewed as a male-dominated field but more women are venturing into business. Due to this, female entrepreneurs often face various challenges in business because of gender disparities.
Are you a woman finding it difficult to fund your startup business? The business world has always been perceived to be a man’s arena.
Over the years, this perception is gradually changing, and women are shifting the tide by venturing into entrepreneurship. Despite the various obstacles women face, they are determined to succeed by overcoming these challenges.
Research shows that female entrepreneurs deal with more hurdles compared to men. However, it is also claimed that women are more likely to be successful in business than their male counterparts.
Nonetheless, women still experience discrimination today in almost every industry due to their gender. To learn more about the challenges you may face as a female entrepreneur and how to overcome them, read along.
1. Funding (Or Lack of It)
When starting your business, you might face great challenges especially when it comes to accessing funds.
This makes it difficult for you to operate your business efficiently and may result in difficulties in hiring employees, renting office space and also setting up sensible working hours.
You can overcome this challenge by seeking advice from professionals, finding a mentor or approaching your family members for support. Whatever you do, don’t do it alone.
A successful entrepreneur is decisive. In order to be viewed as a leader, you need to sharpen your decision-making abilities and make sound judgments with less information.
Don’t over analyze facts because promptness is a key factor in entrepreneurship or else, you might lose business opportunities.
You are naturally emotional and nurturing as a woman, and this may pose challenges in running your business.
You can easily get emotionally connected to situations or employees and therefore this may derail you in making and executing tough situations.
It is advisable not to mix business with friends or the pleasures of life if you want to succeed in business.
This is one of the major challenges you may encounter in entrepreneurship because it is important to have powerful networks in business.
If you fail to understand the significance of being connected to people who have the resources to help you in your business endeavours, then you might hit a dead end.
You must be willing to develop strong networks since these relationships are strategic contributors to the success of your business.
5. Lack of support
It may not be easy for you to find support from other women leaders in business despite the rising numbers of female business owners. Don’t fret, you are not alone; there are many women entrepreneurs facing the same challenge.
Find a reliable support system; it can be your family, friends or mentors, who will be your cheerleaders on this incredible journey.
The fear of failure or success might keep you from achieving your full potential in business. With each level of success, comes different responsibilities and this fact might hinder you from taking risks and moving forward.
Equally, you may fear to fail in your start-up and hence fail to start your business. Learn to overcome your fears by facing them as they come. Let your fear become a stepping stone in your entrepreneurial journey.
7. Social expectations
Society has a high expectation from women as compared to men. In today’s world, women still need to work twice as hard to gain recognition from their male counterparts.
Despite the fact that women are still fighting for gender equality, they have achieved significant success in bridging the gap.
You need to defy society’s expectations of what you are meant to achieve. You should walk into that business meeting dominated by men, with total confidence of your abilities.
The secret is to find your own voice while staying true to yourself. If you have to defend or fight for your business, do it without fear or shame and rise above the expectations.
8. Being Too Modest
You do not have to be modest in entrepreneurship because your competitors are not. Downplaying your own worth can be perceived as a sign of weakness by the male counterparts.
Confidence is paramount when pitching to your investors, or when talking about your company. Use your accomplishments to set yourself apart as a leader and achieve your business goals.
9. Work-Life Balance
This is probably one of the major challenges you will encounter as a woman entrepreneur. Although this affects many entrepreneurs regardless of gender, the conventional expectation placed on women still exists.
You have to simultaneously run your family and your company without falling short on either. Truth be told, there will be shortcomings. You might miss your child’s recital or the school game, relax, it is not the end of the world.
So, accept that you have more on your plate, and find other fulfilling ways to devote extra time to your family without compromising your business.
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10. Lack of self-belief
You may feel discouraged with the numerous challenges eagerly waiting for you, and this may cause you to limit your thinking and actions.
Remember your potential is untapped, and develop a belief in yourself and break the barrier of doubt.
Challenge yourself to face the obstacles that may come your way because success is on the other side.
Develop your entrepreneurial spirit
You are not taught or born with this spirit, you develop and nurture it. Therefore, venture into a business that you are passionate about. Your passion will energize you to conquer all the challenges because all you want is to have a successful business that is fulfilling.
The following are characteristics of entrepreneurial spirit:
- You are passionate about your business.
- You are always curious about how to improve your products or services
- You are always positive and open to possibilities.
- You take calculated risks.
- You execute all your ideas.
Women entrepreneurs need to overcome all these challenges and forge a path to their own success story. Develop key entrepreneurial skills with short online entrepreneurship courses from top universities and business schools.
Learn how to write a business plan and promote your business online. The hardest part of starting your own business is taking the first step. The Essential Guide to Entrepreneurship by Guy Kawasaki is a course is designed for budding entrepreneurs of all backgrounds and experience levels.
Learn from an entrepreneur and investor how to launch a company with confidence and avoid common pitfalls. In this course, you’ll not only learn the essential principles of starting your own business, but you’ll also benefit from the course instructor Guy Kawasaki’s 30+ years of experience working as an entrepreneur, advisor, and investor.
As an entrepreneur, you need to have confidence and focus on your abilities, furthermore, use your sharp intuition and motivate yourself to the finish line.
You need to become your own #1 cheerleader.
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