- Date : 11/01/2022
- Read: 4 mins
When a woman sets out to start an entrepreneurial venture, she faces challenges that are different from those that men face.
In French, the term ‘entrepreneur’ roughly translates into ‘adventurer’. When a woman embarks on this adventure in the modern world of business, the challenges can be huge.
Here are a few challenges faced by women entrepreneurs:
1. Tough competition against male counterparts
For a long time, entrepreneurship has been a field dominated by men. And while the scenario is changing, there is still a long way to go.
For example, India has the third largest start-up base in the entire world. Over 1,000 new start-ups were added in the last year. Yet the percentage of female start-up founders in India is a measly 11%.
2. Limited funding
Funding is crucial in order to start a business. However, a large number of Indian women do not have property or assets to their name. Hence, they encounter a problem while applying for loans due to lack of collateral. This isn't just a problem in India but across the world. A report by Bloomberg showed that women who own and run businesses receive a lot less funding as compared to what men get.
3. Work-life balance
Women, across the world, are expected to play a larger part in handling a household and taking care of their family. Owning and running a business means long hours and thus, for women work-life balance can become a problem.
In the case of working mothers, taking care of their children takes up a lot of time and energy, thereby often forcing them to give less priority to their business. Men, on the other hand, generally play a secondary role when it comes to household responsibilities. However, this situation seems to be changing now as more men are stepping forward to contribute to the household responsibilities.
4. Minimal support
When you start an entrepreneurial venture and are finding your place in the business world, you need as much support as you can get. Unfortunately, in many cases, women find themselves on their own with no one to guide them. In this day and age, it is almost necessary to have experienced mentors and role models. For women, managing their business becomes even more difficult if their family and friends don’t step up to take some household and family responsibilities. As a result, it can be tough to make a mark in an arena that is already dominated by men.
5. Lack of education
Women form 68% of the country’s illiterate population, says UNESCO’s education report. Female entrepreneurs without formal education can face numerous problems when it comes to issues such as business development, maintaining accounts, understanding money matters or even day-to-day running of the company. Lack of skills, information and the necessary resources to run a business can reduce their chances of turning their business into a success.
6. Limited mobility
While we’ve come a long way into the 21st century, an unfair advantage that remains for men is their ability to commute easily, without limitations. Women are always asked to go with a male friend or family member for “ease of travel”. This is primarily because of the concerns women face with their safety while travelling alone. Almost every woman spends her time thinking twice about the time of travel, the commuting route, and the mode of travel. This undoubtedly also raises concerns among family members, often asking women to stay back at home or have a male companion go along with them. If the society becomes a safe place for women, they will no longer have to face issues regarding their travel.
Today, our country boasts of a number of successful women entrepreneurs who have created successful business brands across the world. However, journeys have not been easy. Only when their families, investors and the society at large make conscious attempts to bring down the gender walls, women entrepreneurs would then shine in the corporate world.