Women Entrepreneurs: Shaping the Future of the World

Women Entrepreneurs: Shaping the Future of the World

Career prospects and expectations are rapidly changing for women in today’s world. More women are joining the workforce and setting up their own businesses, this is in stark contrast to the 1950s when a woman’s primary role was thought to be housekeeping and child-rearing.

Businesses owned by women are thriving. A report commissioned by American Express in 2019 observed a whopping 21% increase in women-owned businesses from the years 2014 to 2019 in the US. The report documents that over 36 percent of all businesses in the United States are owned by women which provides employment to 23 million people. The economic impact of an increase in women entrepreneurship in the US is equal to $3 trillion.

Those are big numbers and indicate the positive effect of women taking up entrepreneurial roles on the country’s economy. And while the situation is improving for women entrepreneurs in other parts of the world as well, each region follows a different pace.

A 2019 report by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor found the highest total entrepreneurship activity for women in sub-Saharan Africa (21.8%) and Latin America (17.3%). The lowest rates were reported in the MENA regions (9%) and shockingly Europe (6%). The varying rates no doubt correspond to differences in socioeconomic, cultural and political factors across the globe.

Some driving forces of women entrepreneurs include the sudden absence of male earning counterparts, a wide gender pay gap and the motivation to improve living conditions.

Though it is refreshing to see an increase in the numbers of entrepreneurial women, it is important to note that most women opt for low growth and low-profit sectors. Women entrepreneurs are limited to providing childcare, beauty services, retail, and food services.

If women were to branch out into more profitable sectors such as mining, construction, electronics, and software, the results would be a greater economic success globally.

Women Entrepreneurs can Shape the Future of the World

Although the future looks promising for women establishing self-owned businesses, women still face more hurdles in their path to success as compared to men. These obstacles can thwart business growth significantly, so it is important for policymakers to lay out a framework that supports women to take up leading positions in the corporate sectors.

Some of the challenges faced by women are listed below:

1. Negative Female Stereotypes

One of the many problems women run into while operating their businesses is the preconceived notions that are prevalent in a sector largely dominated by men. Gender discrimination poses a significant hurdle for these entrepreneurs. The only conceivable solution for most women is to take on male traits such as competitiveness and to adopt a certain aggressive approach.

However, several female CEO’s advise staying authentic to yourself and being confident in your ability to overcome obstacles. It can be uncomforting when most females find themselves generally dealing with male executives, however, keeping your eye on the prize, ignoring other’s negative views and focusing on getting the job done can help women rise above.

Readout these positive things to get rid of negative thoughts.

2. Trouble Securing Funds

Most start-ups run by women struggle to get the necessary funds because investors tend to place more faith in their male counterparts. Ensuring investors of profitable revenue is critical; therefore it is important to go the extra mile to convince them by having experts on your team.

Another solution is opting for female investors. A network of female entrepreneurs helping each other climb the ladder can have a welcoming effect on women embracing entrepreneurship.

3. Struggle Earning Respect from Subordinates

A woman in a leadership position is still a relatively new image that most people are not used to. Most women CEO’s sooner or later face the challenge of not being taken seriously by their employees. Women need to assert their authority and lay down ground rules for their employees that are hard to overstep. This usually conflicts with their upbringing where most girls are taught to likable, compliant, and gentle.

Needless to say, there is a lot of unlearning involved with women choosing to lead a workforce and it can take some time to adapt one’s self accordingly. But the important thing is that it can be done. As numerous women CEOs have proven it is possible for females to acquire respect from their peers and their subordinates by applying a strict code of conduct.

4. Undermining their Worth

While male entrepreneurs feel no qualms taking credit for their accomplishments and asserting their worth, the scenario is quite the opposite for women. This leads men to accomplish better bargains with customers and extract more profits in return. Women entrepreneurs should learn to acknowledge their accomplishments and choose competitive prices for their products.

5. Lack of Support

Women in entrepreneurship mostly report a lack of mentoring and advice in the field which hinders growth for their businesses. A community that is mostly dominated by men, it is difficult to make connections and find the necessary support for your business to thrive.

There are several online groups, communities, and websites that link female small business owners with successful women entrepreneurs. Making the most of these resources can have a profound effect on your business venture.

Also, check out these Signs of independent woman

6. Striking a Balance between Work and Home

Managing a successful business enterprise comes with a heavy price for women with children. The guilt of not spending enough time with kids and spouse can lie heavy on their conscience. After years of conditioned thinking by society and media, most female entrepreneurs still consider the wellbeing of their children as solely their responsibility.

Having a supportive partner can help immensely. Balancing household chores and commitments to your kids between both the husband and the wife make it easier for women to focus on business gains.

While the economic climate is shifting somewhat in the favor of women there still remains work to be done to encourage women to take up entrepreneurial roles. Women remain an untapped resource for economic success for many countries. By encouraging women to enter the workforce as well as take on entrepreneurial roles, we can boost our economy immensely.

What are the other challenges that Women Entrepreneurs face? Leave your comments below.

Women Entrepreneurship

Written by Farwa Batool

MSc Biotechnology.
Writer and a mom of two beautiful daughters.

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