From ancient era, females are always assumed to be less productive and less creative compared to males. However, years pass on and time changes. When it comes to entrepreneurship, it was considered as man’s dominant but, according to the data from the National Association of Women Business Owners 9 billion firms in the world are owned and managed by women.
However, being an entrepreneur, women have to face various problem every day and have to tackle them for their as well as family’s growth and development. What are those challenges faced by female entrepreneurs? Let’s have a look at it.
Challenges faced by female entrepreneurs are as follows:
- Problem of Finance
Finance is regarded as “life-blood” for any enterprise, be it big or small. However, women entrepreneurs suffer from a shortage of finance on two counts.
Firstly, women do not generally have property in their names to use them as collateral for obtaining funds from external sources. Thus, their access to the external sources of funds is limited.
- Wearing Too Many Hats
Indian society has seeped the social stigma, and it starts at home where a woman doesn’t have the choice of delegating work to anyone. They often carry this into the workplace, and take on too much of work rather than find the best person there to get the job done.
This makes them invest more energy working in their business, as opposed to on their business. So, it’s better to bring out the best out of those working for you rather than showing them how it’s done. Team building and tapping resources are key to running a successful business rather than being a one-woman show.
- Lack of education
In India, around three-fifths (60%) of women are still illiterate. Illiteracy is the root cause of socio-economic problems. Due to the lack of education and that too qualitative education, women are not aware of business, technology and market knowledge. Also, lack of education causes low achievement motivation among women. Thus, lack of education creates one type or other problems for women in the setting up and running of business enterprises.
- Not Being Taken Seriously
Comparisons based on gender are unavoidable in the business space, and often when a female starts a business, even family and friends may tend to view it as a hobby or a side project to “just keep herself busy”. There’s no option but to buckle down and prove them wrong with your work than trying to do so in a verbal exchange. Clichéd as it may sound; actions speak louder than words – so ensure your work speaks for you and proves your point.
- Family Ties
In India, it is mainly a woman’s duty to look after the children and other members of the family. A man plays a secondary role only. In case of married women, she has to strike a fine balance between her business and family. Her total involvement in the family leaves little or no energy and time to devote to the business.
Support and approval of husbands seem necessary condition for women’s entry into the business. Accordingly, the educational level and family background of husbands positively influence women’s entry into business activities.
- Fear of failure
The fear of failure is the top concern of women who launch startups. Failure is a very real possibility in any business venture, but Delia Passi, CEO of Women Certified and founder of the Women’s Choice Award, said it shouldn’t be viewed as a negative.
“You need to have massive failure to have massive success,” Passi said. “You may need 100 ‘noes’ to get one ‘yes,’ but that one ‘yes’ will make you more successful tomorrow than you were today,” she said.
- Pressure to act a certain way
When women entrepreneurs have to talk business with primarily male executives, it can sometimes be intimidating. When you own a business, you are constantly negotiating deals with many different people and many times.
To compensate and protect themselves, some women feel they need to adopt a stereotypical male attitude that can include things like being competitive, aggressive or overly harsh.