Over the years, most of us have met some aspirational women who have the potential and skillset to become successful entrepreneurs. But eventually, we only see a handful come forward and take a ride with their dream. The ability to build their own economic destiny by becoming an entrepreneur is a dream for everyone. Many of the leading companies of today were once said to be impossible. Today they are a reality because of individuals who believed. Entrepreneurship is open for everyone. However, the challenges for women entrepreneurs are significantly higher.
In a diverse country like the U.K, where women outnumber men in the population, the number of women entrepreneurs is significantly low. This is a worrying statistic for the government. For economic development, we need both men and women. According to the Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship, only 1 in 3 U.K entrepreneurs is a female.
What are the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs?
Defying social expectations is one of the most challenging tasks for women.
Many people in a society tend to have a predetermined mindset about women when they see or interact. The women entrepreneurs feel the same and which holds many of them backward. The number of female entrepreneurs attending entrepreneurship events is significantly low making it difficult for women to interact.
Cash is the lifeblood of any business, and they need it for operation and expansion.
This is a time when women entrepreneurs face another roadblock. Generally, women entrepreneurs face it much harder to raise money than men. Looking at the past years, businesses led by women receive much lower funding. This is also because there is a low number of female entrepreneurs.
Even though we live in modern society, there are still times when women struggle to be taken seriously.
Sometimes the initial pressure gets to them and, they fumble. It is also difficult for women to find and build a support network or advisors with whom she is comfortable. It is difficult for women to establish their network as the majority of the high-level business is still dominated by men.
Balancing their entrepreneur life with their family life is a massive task for all women entrepreneurs.
Finding time for business and for the family is an uphill climb. It is one of the important reasons why many women are holding themselves back from entrepreneurship. Spending time with dear ones is the happiest moment for everyone. Especially when their kids are at a very young age or require their help in various activities, women, entrepreneurs find it hard to execute both together.
Coping with the fear of failure is something that all women entrepreneurs face.
It is a giant leap for them to leave their day jobs and to be an entrepreneur. Leaving the day job is a very tough decision as that takes away the fixed income. The path to success is difficult and everyone has a fear of failure until it’s achieved.
We live in a society where we say opportunities are there for each and every one. Can this be considered the same for our women entrepreneurs? Not yet, as we discussed above, women entrepreneurs find it much harder to establish and launch their business. However, over the years, women entrepreneurship is also one of the fastest-growing categories. More and more women are coming forward and starting their own ventures. Although even with these increases, according to a study conducted, it will take at least another 108 years to completely close the gender gap between men and women. Another 202 years is required to achieve equality between the two genders in the workplace.
Even with all these challenges, women entrepreneurs are coming forward. Some great women entrepreneurs are inspiring more women entrepreneurs to chase their dreams. The key to success is to start before you are ready – Marie Forleo.
Women play a pivotal part in society and the economy and will continue to spearhead the future. With more support offered to aspiring women entrepreneurs, the sky will be the limit.
“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” Oprah Winfrey, Entrepreneur, Producer, and Philanthropist.