TomorrowMakers

We will have more women CEOs in the country when women like you stop believing these common myths and take the plunge.

5 Myths about starting a small business that women need to stop believing

One of the challenges of life is facing struggles and overcoming them. But as a woman, your struggles are usually more varied and unfair than that of men. Some of these struggles are because of anatomy, but a lot of them are because of society and gender roles. Hence, if you’ve been contemplating starting your own business but are bogged down by all the things people say to discourage you from being an entrepreneur, you need to take a step back and look at things objectively. 

Why let anyone hold you back from realising your business dreams? As a woman, here are some of the most common myths that you need to steer clear of. 

1. Women are not as entrepreneurial as men

Traditionally, men have always held power positions in the patriarchal societies of the world. From being the head of the household to the head of the company, it’s been men who have had all the financial and decision-making powers. Of course, over the last few decades, women have been fighting their way through the glass ceiling. But that’s the thing – they have to fight and struggle far more than men if they need to make their voices heard and carve a space for themselves in the boardroom. 

Things are no different when it comes to running a business. Due to this, many women believe that entrepreneurship is another area meant for men and that it comes more naturally to them. That’s not true as entrepreneurship isn’t genetic in the least. Studies have shown that women have all the traits important for leadership and management that make them better at entrepreneurship than men. Women are calculated decision-makers, more ambitious, better planners, and less prone to overconfidence as compared to men.

Related: Government schemes that can help women entrepreneurs in India grow their small businesses  

2. Women lack the skill to be entrepreneurs 

This myth may have some rationale to it. As we saw, men have always held power positions. When they work in companies, it’s easier and quicker for them to climb the corporate ladder and acquire the positions and experiences that will help them build their skills. Women are usually not given that opportunity. So, while it may be true that at the starting line of the entrepreneurship race, a man may have more skills than a woman, women can still start their business and learn along the way. Women are typically sharper and smarter at picking up skills and understanding people and processes. 

Another reason for this myth is that women don’t have many role models. There are about 58 million entrepreneurs in India, out of which only 14% are women! But that’s all the more reason to follow your dreams so that you can be that role model for a whole generation of little girls. 

3. Your children and family will suffer

It may be hard to accept this as a myth, considering how many times a woman has to hear this, irrespective of whether she is an entrepreneur or doing anything that’s not being a homemaker. But it is, in fact, a myth. As entrepreneurs, women will have more flexibility over their schedule than they would as employees. That is not to say they would have more free time – they would be just as busy. But if they have to attend their child’s dance performance at 5 pm, they can go for it and then work late at night without having to give anyone an explanation or excuse. 

If you dare to follow your dreams, you will be teaching your children to do the same, especially if you have a daughter. If your daughter sees you working unapologetically and focusing on your career as much as her father does, she will grow up to be a smart young woman who does the same and won’t make the sacrifices that society expects from her. 

Related: Business ideas for women who want financial freedom

4. Women have to do everything themselves

There’s a quote that goes, ‘Entrepreneurs are the only people who will work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week’. It’s true that you will have to work more hours as an entrepreneur than you would in a corporate job, especially in the beginning when you’re setting things up and stabilising your business. But after the first few years, things become easier. 

You can hire and build a core team that you can trust enough – on their ability, intentions and dedication – to delegate work without feeling anxious or worried about the result. As an entrepreneur, you have to make all the important calls, but you don’t have to do everything yourself. If you subscribe to that myth, you will stop being an innovator and creative thinker – which are the most essential things for a successful entrepreneur. 

5. It’s impossible for women to get funding 

Getting the money to start your small business can be tricky, but it’s far from impossible. There are several government schemes to help women who are starting a small business to get the money they need. Many banks offer loans for women’s businesses at lower interest rates. Now, a lot of alternative financing options are available, such as online crowdfunding platforms. 

Alternatively, you can be strategic about your financial planning and save the money you need to start your small business over a few years. Getting the basics of personal finance right – such as budgeting and investing – will help you as an entrepreneur to make better decisions for your business.

Related: Tips for women entrepreneurs to fund their businesses 

When you’re starting anything new, there may be a lot of people who try to pull you down. As a woman, you have to understand that those who matter wouldn’t mind you following your dreams, and those who mind your dreams don’t matter in your life! Look at these 5 Crucial areas to focus on to grow your business as a woman entrepreneur.

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